Albany council hears of Times Union threat
Guild members and supporters came to the Common Council in Albany Monday to denounce the Times Union’s threat to cancel our contract on Thursday.
“This time, the future of our union and the Times Union itself are at stake,” Chief Steward Ray Pitlyk said. “In contract talks with the Guild, the newspaper’s management is demanding the unconditional right to outsource work done by Guild members and lay off members without regard to seniority.”
Ken Crowe, a past Guild president and reporter at the newspaper, noted that other unions at the plant have not been subject to the same demands to allow outsourcing and to lay people off outside reverse seniority.
Doug Bullock, a county legislator and vice president of the Capital District Area Labor Federation, called for the public to call Publisher George Hearst at 454-5555 to express outrage at the cancellation threat.
“I think it is outrageous that any employer treats employees this way,” he said. “I urge the council to vote for this resolution.”
The council will take up the resolution on April 20. It delayed the vote after two representatives for the company read about the resolution on the Guild’s blog and called to ask to be heard on it.
“It will come back before us on April 20,” Council President Pro Tempore Richard Conti said. “I think it’s appropriate we have an open discussion. It will be coming back.”
I hope the Hearst Corp. now realizes that this is a community that treats its workers with respect and that it is in their best interest to do the same. We all know times are hard, but the path the company is choosing will be self destruction. We can do better.