Publisher George Hearst said today he will produce the names of people he wants to lay off next week, and some of them will be out of seniority.
Guild President Tim O’Brien replied that the union will file a legal challenge to any attempt to impose any of the Company’s proposals. The union does not believe we are at a legal impasse, especially given the broad discretion the Company demands under its outsourcing and layoff language.
The parties will meet, discuss the criteria the Company intends to use for deciding who gets laid off and then Hearst said he will provide the names. That will start the 45-day clock under the Company’s language to negotiate any layoffs.
O’Brien noted that while the union will meet with the Company, it is not waiving any of its rights to legally challenge whatever the Times Union attempts to do.
The publisher did not say how many employees would be forced out of a job, though he says it should be in line with the estimate he gave earlier. He had 60 to 70 employees could be let go, but that was before some 16 people took voluntary buyouts.
O’Brien will fly down to Washington, D.C. Thursday for the Guild’s annual sector conference, where he will meet with the International’s leaders and the union attorney to prepare the case to challenge the company’s declaration of impasse. The sector conference runs through Saturday. O’Brien will skip the CWA portion of the convention in order to be back in Albany on Monday to prepare for the layoff discussions.