What a difference a coast makes.
In San Francisco, the Hearst-owned Chronicle did not treat employees the awful way that Times Union workers were treated. There were no added security guards, no tap on the shoulder and no forcing people to leave the building.
Michael Cabanatuan is the president of the Northern California Media Guild, the Guild local that represents workers at the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. Michael also works at the Chronicle.
When he learned what had happened here, he said: “I’ve heard of nothing this absurd. In San Francisco, they notified people in mid-May that they would be laid off — some immediately, some at the end of June, July and August. But they were not escorted from the building and were, in fact, were/are expected to report to work.”
Guild President Tim O’Brien has a next-door neighbor who just was laid off from Albany International.
“He knew for months what his last day was going to be,” O’Brien said. “He still reported to work every day and did his job. He was not escorted from the building like he was going to attack the place. This is a horrible way to treat employees, many of whom had worked for the newspaper for a decade or more. This was not treating employees with fairness, kindness, dignity or respect, the motto the Company once used to describe its approach to workers. No one should ever be treated this way again and those who were are owed an apology.”
The Guild is pursuing charges before the National Relations Board over both the illegal declaration of impasse and the layoff of employees before negotiations over criteria were complete.