Guild members take to the streets II
Visitors to the Outdoor Show this weekend at the Empire State Plaza learned “there is something fishy” happening at the Times Union.
Guild members distributed more than 1,000 fliers to show goers letting them know about our battle for a fair contract at the Times Union. It is part of the Guild’s effort to communicate to the public about the Company’s threat to cancel our contract April 9. And it is part of the effort to get the Times Union to understand the dangerous territory they have entered with their threat.
More such actions are planned.
In a region where 30 percent of the workforce is unionized, the Guild has plenty of support. Union leaders through the Capital District Area Labor Federation have made an appointment for Tuesday to talk to Publisher George Hearst to help him understand the tremendous support the Guild has in the region.
The parties are scheduled for three days of bargaining this coming week, Wednesday through Friday, and we’re hoping all of this mobilization work will pay off in an improved attitude on the Company’s part at the bargaining table.
United We’re Strong.
That’s a slogan our Guild local has used at different times. The efforts by Tim, the Executive Board and the rest of the local are proving how true it is. We all have to look out for each other. We have to work together. Let’s do it.
I would encourage all of the Union members to remember that sometimes to get what is fair we all must make sacrifices. As a former advertising salesperson the last thing I would want to see would be an advertising boycott. It would also be hard to encourage circulation cancellations. HOWEVER… when the company is hitting you over the head with a bat, do you put on a helmet or hit back? It is important to retain the power of the union and at times the power to get fair negotiations comes from unfair tactics. The company is trying this by notifying the Guild of the cancellation of the contract. You must be willing to take your power where you can. When the company threatens to cancel your contract, a document negotiated in good faith in the past by both sides, you must take steps to send a message that you will not take this lying down!!
I can appreciate the relationships built over time and with much hard work on the part of salespeople and the last thing you want to do is jepordize that relationship. Perhaps it means you explain to your advrtisers when the time comes that this is for the greater good. You are a talented salesforce and will find a way to balance advertiser relations and the goals of the Union to keep your worker’s rights intact. You have witnessed some of the ways management treats salespeople now, thinking they can discipline you for not maiking goals they decide based on “I want” ideals alone. When times are tough enough do you want to be threatened or encouraged and helped? Management thinks if discipline is threatened suddenly you will make the goal?! RIGHT!
Albany is a union town, the Guild is well respected in the business enviornment and has strong messages of support from other unions. I encourage you, Guild Members, to support the negotiators and executive board as well. This is a tough fight and you have much to loose if management has its say.