Bernie Lunzer to join settlement talks

The Guild’s top official, International President Bernie Lunzer, is coming to Albany Wednesday for a closed-door discussion in an effort to resolve our contractual differences.

He will be joined by Barbara Camens, the union’s attorney, and International Representative Jim Schaufenbil. Representing the local will be President Tim O’Brien, First Vice President Lindsay LaFountain and Chief Steward Brian Nearing.

Company and union leaders agreed to postpone an arbitration hearing originally scheduled for Wednesday on the dues checkoff case. Instead, the parties will use the day to bargain in the hope the two sides can find a way to resolve their differences.

The mutual decision to postpone the arbitration came before a court ruling Monday granting the company’s request for a stay of the hearing pending its appeal in the case.

“Our goal has always been to reach a settlement. We are grateful that Bernie and Barbara are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to bring their expertise to bear on these talks,” O’Brien said. “We are also grateful Publisher George Hearst is open to meeting with Bernie and Barbara and trying to see if there is a way we can move forward together.”

Due to the pending legal cases, the discussion will be off the record. In the event an agreement is reached, it would, of course, have to be put to a vote of the membership.

The Guild leaders will arrive Tuesday for a discussion among themselves before meeting with the company Wednesday.

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