You might as well change the name of the paper to the Times Anti-Union.

In an unprecedented move, the Times Union ignored pleas from dozens of labor leaders and hundreds of readers and canceled our contract Thursday. Immediately after, some 70 Guild members and leaders from other locals took to the streets outside the paper for a picket.

“This is a sad, sad day for Times Union employees, readers and advertisers,” said Guild President Tim O’Brien. “The Company is hellbent on wanting to lay off employees regardless of how loyally they have served and to outsource jobs out of the Capital Region. And because they could not convince our members of the rightness of their cause, they launched an unprecedented attack on our union.”

The negotiations will continue, and the Company cannot change the terms and conditions of the contract. What it means is the Guild has to hand collect dues, although the union is investigating possible legal action, and it cannot take grievances to arbitration. It also means we can picket, strike, and launch boycotts.

“George Hearst falsely claimed we have exaggerated the implications of this move,” O’Brien said. “The reality is this is a union town, and every union member knows what this action means. The Times Union can expect the phones to start ringing off the hook with calls canceling the newspaper. We told the Company the day it first threatened this that it was the dumbest thing the Company can do. They ignored us at their peril. They cannot say they weren’t warned.”

One Comment

  • BC

    I hope George Hearst reads this blog — it’s really the only way we can respond to the disingenuous missives he sends to the rest of us in the Times Union building, and through an intermediary’s e-mail address, no less.

    Mr. Hearst: If, as you say, canceling the contract isn’t that big a deal and won’t have that large an impact, why do it to begin with? You’re talking out both sides of your mouth in the same breath!

    Go ahead and do what you think is best for the company, but don’t piss on our shoes and tell us it’s raining.

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