TU walks workers to the door

Without any communication to the Guild, the Times Union has begun walking workers to the door and telling them they are on a 45 day leave that will likely end in their layoff.

The situation is fluid and the Guild is trying to get the company to provide some information. We hope to share details with you later in the day.

If you are one of people summoned to the office of Carole  Hess, follow whatever directive the company gives you. The Guild can only challenge actions after they are taken and we fully intend to do so. We recommend against signing any paperwork. You can feel free to cash or deposit any check you are given. Doing so does not waive any of your legal rights.


    • Michael P. Farrell


      You always were great to see in the newsroom. Even if Your a Bills fan i’ll still miss you brother. Good Luck!

      • Tim Spofford

        Hi, Mike:
        Remember me? You bucked up my spirits in the bad old days when we were fighting Jeff Cohen’s maladministration of the TU. Just wanted to say I’m sorry about your unfair treatment. You were always a terrific colleague. I wish I were there to provide you the support and comfort you provided me when I was under fire. You’re a wonderful man.
        Regards, Tim Spofford

  • lbj

    ..worst of all is that they are “branding” these unfortunate people as unsatisfactory workers – which is far from the truth and they know it!
    How is anyone ever going to get past this? How can anyone left standing have any respect for a company that does this to it’s workers? It’s not like a token “pizza night” is going to fix all and make people forget…”Trust no one or anything you hear” – yeah, what a great working environment! I’m sure they’ll be trolling the offices again in another few months…when Houston’s up to speed…or when they run the paper straight into the ground for good!

  • Jane Gottlieb

    I am not sure whetehr this helps or hurts those of you going through this but as an interested reader and former TU-er I DO notice when people leave. I see the huge difference in coverage between when the staffing is there and when it appears to be thrown against the wall with too few people. We’re all losers in this scenario and it is shameful. It’s nice the paper is sticking with the big ‘gotcha’ stories but the smaller things, as in what’s going on in our towns, are sorely missed. But never let anyone tell you your presence there doesn’t matter. Jane

  • Tom Murnane

    The Times Union’s commitment to its editorial public service mission is directly tied to the experience levels, work ethic, talents and courage of its employees. For example, anyone can call themselves a “consumer reporter” but never write anything meaningful. By contrast, I don’t know Dan Higgins but quickly came to appreciate his ability to tackle subjects that mattered to the average person –such as the issue of home contractor licensing or the June 15, 2009 story about how a local mother, Laurel McAdoo, has struggled to survive despite NYS government’s failure to protect her family. By letting people like Dan Higgins go, Hearst is undermining the paper’s ability to produce stories like this that matter & connect with readers; it’s a curious strategy to improve the value of his company’s products.

    On a personal level, I was sad to hear about some good people losing their jobs, including Monica Bartoszek, who was always very kind to me when I briefly worked there in the early 90s as the worst sports clerk in the paper’s history (I still loathe bowling agate — no offense, Pete).

    More importantly though, as a local resident and consumer of the paper, I’d like to echo Jane’s comments that people can tell when the “smaller things” are missed on a daily basis after layoffs like this. The quality of the product is weakened — most likely permanently. I wish I had an MBA to understand how these layoffs are smart business decisions.

    Keep up the good fight, Tim & all. You are doing work that truly matters — not just to your members but also to the readers/consumers whom publisher Hearst is supposed to be concerned about.

  • devtob

    So, Dan Higgins, the excellent reporter who did the rare TU regular feature that actually helps readers, and also makes good reading, is a luxury for the Hearst billionaires.

    Speaking just for me, I read (online) almost everything Higgins wrote, because he told good stories and provided a way outside of Small Claims and other courts for people who were screwed to redress the screwing.

    I agree with Tom Murnane that this shows that Hearst (the company and the local publisher) really have no clue about bhow to connect with readers and potentual readers.

    • Worn Down

      I agree with all the excellent comments above. As far as Dan Higgins is concerned, I believe he fell on his sword, so to speak, and volunteered to leave. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong on this). In doing so, he selflessly saved another reporter’s job, and he should be applauded for that. And I agree that his work will be greatly missed, as will all the other excellent editors and writers who were shown the door. What a shame!

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