Guild wins major legal victory in dues case

The Newspaper Guild has won a major victory over the Times Union over the cutting off of our dues collection last year.

The newspaper tried to prevent the union from being able to take the cessation of dues to arbitration, but a U.S. District Court justice ruled Friday that the union has a right to be heard on the case.

Last year, in an effort to force members to accept a contract that would enable the  newspaper to lay off anyone without negotiation and to lay people off and outsource their work, the Times Union canceled its contract with the union and stopped collecting dues.

The Guild argues that the newspaper does not have the right to cease dues collection. The Times Union refused to let the case go to arbitration, which resulted in the court battle the union has now won.

“We are grateful to the Guild’s International and its lawyers for their hard work on this case,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “The Times Union needs to stop its harmful treatment of its employees. We know times are tough and have always been willing to make concessions, but employees still deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity and respect, and part of that is to respect the workers’ right to bargain over critical matters like layoffs and outsourcing. Cutting off our dues to compel members to support an unfair contract was improper and, we’re proud to say, it didn’t work.”

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