In its ongoing efforts to let the public know about the lack of a fair contract and seven-year wage freeze at the Times Union, the Guild showed up at last night’s Citizen Laureate dinner for the University at Albany Foundation.
Braving a cold drizzle, Guild members handed out leaflets and held signs at the entrance of the SEFCU Center as people arrived to attend the annual dinner, which was hosted by Times Union Publisher George Hearst. He is chairman of the foundation’s board of directors.
It was the second public action by the Guild in less than a month. In October, Guild members were outside Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady for the North American premier of the traveling production of the musical “Newsies.”
The Guild leaflet congratulated the winners of the UAlbany award and _ Fr. Kevin Mullen, Phoebe Powell Bender and Daniel Nolan. And it let dinner guests know that Mr. Hearst, who is active in the Capital Region’s charitable community, has “earned a much different reputation among his employees” for freezing TU wages for seven years while “bragging that the Heart Corporation’s newspaper division is the most successful in the industry and that the Times Union remains profitable.”
The message continued: “We appreciate Mr. Hearst’s giving nature in public, but we think his employees deserve equal consideration. We hope you do too and will let him know you think TU employees deserve raises after seven long years.”
Despite those seven years, Mr. Hearst still will not deliver a contract unless the Guild agrees to hand over control of both employee seniority and outsourcing of jobs _ two extreme demands that no other union in the Capital Region, or New York State for that matter, is being asked to do.