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.