Guild members took to the streets in two cities Saturday to let the public know about the Times Union’s unprecedented assault on its workers’ contract.
At the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Albany, Guild members fanned out to distribute fliers on green paper that informed people “It’s not a great day for Times Union employees, readers and advertisers.”
We discussed the Company’s first-ever decision to cancel our contract and force a series of givebacks on us. Readers told us that they found the newspaper to be thin, with little content, and they were deeply offended by the Company’s treatment of employees. Many promised to back our efforts, and some said they would cancel their newspaper on April 9 if the Company followed through on its threat.
Meanwhile, in Schenectady, another group of members went to the Fuccillo car dealership, one of our top advertisers. There, they explained to managers of the dealership and to passersby that we appreciate their advertising support and encourage people to shop there. We also warned, however, that we could be forced into an advertising boycott if the Company follows through on its threat to cancel our contract.
We’ve never done this before, but we never have faced a battle like this before. One manager in editorial loudly told a reporter, in front of witnesses, “the Guild must die.”
Faced with people who want to kill our union, we will have to take dramatic action. To our colleagues in advertising, we know this may be a shock but we will be approaching many other advertisers with the same message: We appreciate your support, we shop here and encourage others to do so because you advertise with the TU, and we hope not to have to launch an advertising boycott April 9.
Thanks to all who turned out today in two cities. The effort to convince the Company to retreat from the horrendous path it has chosen is really gaining steam. You will learn more about the efforts we, the labor community and others will make on our behalf in the days ahead.