Company asks Guild to betray laid-off workers

The Times Union proposed a settlement offer on the National Labor Relations Board case on the record Friday that would pay pennies to the dollar on what is owed. It also would leave our members without a contract and with significantly less leverage to get one.

The Times Union wants to pay the illegally fired workers $15,000 each and give all our members $1,000. The 11 people laid off illegally in 2009 are owed more than $600,000, the National Labor Relations Board has said. Individual members are owed as much as $109,000.

The company is offering the workers 19 cents on the dollar for a case it lost. This is like a criminal being found guilty in court, losing his appeal and then announcing it’s time to plea bargain for a much shorter sentence.

The proposal would include no recurring raise and would strengthen the company’s hand in demanding members surrender their right to bargain over layoffs and outsourcing.

The company wants Guild members to “share” the cost of its illegal actions. In fact, the Guild told the company immediately in 2009 that the layoffs were illegal even as they were occurring and told the publisher to stop. Instead, the Times Union wasted tens of thousands of dollars on a losing legal appeal.

The money owed to our laid-off colleagues is solely the responsibility of Times Union management and the Hearst Corp.

Offering our members a $1,000 “bribe” to sell out laid-off colleagues is something we cannot accept.

The Guild has repeatedly offered compromises on both layoffs and outsourcing as well as in the NLRB case. Given the company’s decision to make this settlement offer public, the union plans to ask the company’s permission to divulge our off-the-record proposals and theirs for communication purposes only. We think you deserve to see the compromises we offered and what the company offered in return.

You deserve the full story.


  • Audrey Lahoff

    What an outrageous offer for Hearst to make to the Guild. In the last contract negotiations they asked members to sell their pension rights for a bribe and so now they think this tactic is alright. Members should hold Hearst accountable for their illegal actions and not give in to this pittance of a few dollars waived in front of them. Hearst needs to come to the table and DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • elzic

    I am guessing that the company wanted this offer to be public with the idea that members would be drooling at the prospect of $1,000 checks in exchange for this nonsense. Thanks for insulting our intelligence.

  • Insulted and sad

    What an insult to even think that you can buy a vote for $1,000. Do you not relaize that your employees haven’t had a raise in almost five years? Even if they did received a 2% raise each year just to keep up with healthcare costs or gasoline costs etc. a $50k per year salary would have received over $5,000.
    Then you have the nerve to publish on hearstlink that Hearst just had another record brealking profit and revenue year. Great for you but please don’t insult us with a $1,000 bribe. Do you realize that you once had happy, hard working, dedicated employees that loved the Times Union? Those days are gone. Most employees do the minimum and then run out the door at 5. You may think that your cost cutting is adding profits to the bottom line but I am sure that overall productivity is at an all time low because attitudes are at an all time low. Low wadges and a constant demand for more, more, more with less, less, less is not a formula for increased production. You are living in a fantasy world if you really think that formula works. Do you have any idea what it is like to worry about paying the rent or mortgage or to have to tell your child that you can’t afford to pay for school anymore? I am sure you don’t have those concerns for your family. You now have employees that are living paycheck to paychek because you slashed the income of so many. It doesn’t stop with guild employees either. Do you realize that some of your key managers have to work part time jobs just to keep up with the household bills? I know we are in hard times but after slashing so many things and the workforce, please take care of the people that are left. Just wanted to post these comments because I really think that we are just sliding away from anything positive or motivating and when the job market opens up you will see a lot of empty desks at the Times Union and then you won’t have to worry about laying off your work force anymore.

  • beentheredonethat

    I am appalled by this nonsense. I am a former employee and cannot believe that this company has come to this. I feel for the current employees, but I am so happy that I do not have to deal with a company that chooses to call what they are doing or planning to do “good business.”

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