Hearst wants to minimize contract

“We need to minimize this agreement,” George Hearst said at the bargaining table Monday, holding up your contract.

What does that mean? It means the Company is continuing to demand the unfettered right to outsource your work, lay you off with no protection for seniority, cut your pay, add unreasonable duties and change your days off without your consent.

Isn’t this where negotiations began? Pretty much.

On Monday, Guild bargainers went back on the record in the wake of a memo (see previous post) from the Hearst newspaper in San Antonio. That e-mail message to employees there referred to a meeting recently held in New York City where editors from Hearst newspapers discussed the “coming consolidation plan.”

Guild bargainers wanted to know what that means, especially given that the same memo refers to outsourcing page design and  copy editing work to Houston, 199 miles away from San Antonio. The new computer system in editorial at the Times Union, as well as the e-mail system, is based in Houston as well.

“I am not aware of any specific plans to outsource work to Houston,” Hearst said.

Guild leaders said they found it hard to swallow that the Hearst Corp. had no idea what it would do if given a blank check to outsource work, which is what the Company is proposing, especially in light of the San Antonio memo.

Guild President Tim O’Brien, quoting International Rep. Jim Schaufenbil, noted that when companies are given the unrestrained right to outsource work, they do so.

George Hearst said he would try to find out what the “coming consolidation plan” means and answer Guild bargainers when negotiations resume at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Executive Conference Room. Members are free to attend on their own time, as quite a few did Monday. (Unfortunately, the Company arrived more than 40 minutes’ late, so most could not stay.)

One Comment

  • Dan Higgins

    Let’s do a little parsing, shall we?

    “I am not aware of any specific plans to outsource work to Houston,” Hearst said.

    OK. Is he aware of any general plans to outsource our work? Or plans to have talks about outsourcing our work? Or plans to outsource our work to somewhere besides Houston? What about a suburb of Houston?

    Again, standard disclaimers apply: I like George Hearst. He’s always been a gentleman to me. But please know that he did not completely answer the Guild’s question with that response. I am glad that he is going to find out what “coming consolidation plan” means.

    Meanwhile, maximize!



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