NLRB calculating Times Union’s liability

Here is an update on the Albany Newspaper Guild’s case against the Times Union supported by the full National Labor Relations Board.

The Compliance Office of the board is calculating the financial liability owed by the newspaper. The office has requested, and received, payroll records information from the newspaper.

Earlier this summer, the National Labor Relations Board upheld a federal administrative law judge’s decision that the layoff of 11 Guild-covered employees almost two years ago at the Times Union was illegal. In the unanimous decision, the Board also upheld the judge’s ruling that the company’s declaration of impasse in the layoff negotiations broke the law.

The Albany Guild is assisting the calculation process and has forwarded to the Compliance Office its own calculations dating back to May of this year. Then, the estimated financial liability to the Company was $500,000 and growing. The full Board is assessing the newspaper compounded daily interest on money owed to the workers.

Once the Compliance Office calculates the liability, it will share the figure with the Company and the Guild. The board has already contributed significant resources to this case. The Compliance Office did not estimate how long it will take to establish the Company’s liability but meantime the amount continues to increase.

The Board also ordered the newspaper to rehire the workers and return to bargaining with the Union over the layoffs.

“We are hoping that once the Times Union sees the official number on how much is owed, it will return to the bargaining table for further off-the-record discussions,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “We appreciate our members’ patience. The process is slow, but in the long run it does work.”

Also, the Union’s complaint that the Company violated the contract when it stopped withholding Union dues is scheduled to be heard before an arbitrator on Aug. 30.

The Union has stated that it continues to stand ready and is willing to negotiate a complete settlement over all the issues, including the full contract, layoffs, and the dues deduction case.

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