Albany Times Union agrees to take back three employees who were laid off

The Hearst-owned Albany Times Union and the Albany Newspaper Guild have settled their dispute over the layoffs of 11 employees in 2009.

The Guild says in a release:

The newspaper agreed to pay financial settlements to all 11 workers and to bring back three of the employees who wished to return to their jobs. The settlement came after the Times Union was found guilty of breaking the law by a hearing officer, and that decision was upheld unanimously by the entire National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

The three employees return to the newspaper in two weeks.

The release is after the jump.

Times Union, Newspaper Guild settle legal case

The Times Union and the Newspaper Guild signed a final agreement Tuesday in the illegal layoff of 11 employees by the newspaper in 2009.

The newspaper agreed to pay financial settlements to all 11 workers and to bring back three of the employees who wished to return to their jobs. The settlement came after the Times Union was found guilty of breaking the law by a hearing officer, and that decision was upheld unanimously by the entire National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

The company had filed yet another appeal to the Court of Appeals, but the case is now settled. The workers will return in two weeks.

“We are proud to welcome back three of our colleagues, and we are glad all 11 will be compensated for their lost wages, health care costs and pension losses,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “But this case is not just about the past. It is about the future of all our members. Never again will employees be treated the way these colleagues were.”

As part of the settlement, the Times Union must post a statement in the building that says it will not place union members proposed for layoff on paid leave without negotiation and will not lay off employees without bargaining to a lawful impasse, which was not done in this case.

The Guild believes the three workers should be restored to their jobs without further cuts. There are currently existing openings, and the newspaper staff has already endured subsequent layoffs. If the newspaper management chooses to cut other jobs, it must notify the union first and negotiate a buyout offer.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Newspaper Guild’s International and the Communications Workers of America for their support throughout this lengthy case,” O’Brien said, “and we are especially thankful to our attorneys, Barbara Camens and Quinn Philbin, for their stellar work on our behalf.”

O’Brien added there is one more bit of unfinished business: The newspaper’s workers have not had a raise in five years, as the newspaper has demanded employees surrender bargaining rights first.

“We have fewer people doing more work for less pay,” O’Brien said. “The Hearst Corp. is very generous in the community, and now it needs to be generous to the employees who work so hard every day too.”

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