Company acknowledges its ‘unlawful action’

When the company announced our legal settlement last month, its Executive Committee wrote “we believe that we acted in a lawful manner.” But a posting that went up Monday admits the truth: The company finally acknowledges it broke the law.

As part of the settlement, the company posted a notice on its Intranet and on bulletin boards in features, advertising, advertising art and in the cafeteria. (You can read the full text there and in a bulletin we will share with our members Tuesday. Throughout this process, we have tried to avoid putting the names of the 11 workers on our blog as much as we can, and we’d like to avoid doing so now too to protect their privacy.)

Here is what the final paragraph says: “WE WILL make [the 11 workers] whole consistent with a settlement reached by all parties for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered as a result of our unlawful action against them.” (The emphasis is ours.)

The posting must remain up for 60 days. You can check it out for yourselves.

As for layoffs, we believe they are not necessary, as the staff has continued to be cut. The company must give notice and bargain buyouts first, and we believe there would be sufficient interest to make involuntary layoffs unnecessary.

And finally, the company has stated the returning workers put the company “over budgeted staffing levels.” One is returning to a features slot, where a colleague just retired and another is on maternity leave. There is one other reporter among four exempt editors. Clearly this reporter is very much needed and does not displace anyone.

The company has known since 2010 a hearing officer ordered the reinstatement of 11 employees. It has known since 2011 that its appeal was denied unanimously by the NLRB. The company has had sufficient time to budget and plan for this day.

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