By John Geluardi
Bay Area News Group – East Bay) managers have rescinded the eight newsroom layoffs they announced last week after the company’s new union filed a complaint with the National Labors Relations Board.
Managers told the eight employees who are part of the bargaining unit that they could come back to work or stay at home and collect full pay until the situation is resolved.
The Bay Area News Group – East Bay (BANG), is a cluster of newspapers owned by Media News Group, the third largest newspaper chain in the country. BANG manages about a dozen daily newspapers including the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, The Argus and the Tri-Valley Herald.
In their complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, the union, which was formed last summer, says management failed to discuss the layoffs with union representatives prior notifying the employees, which is a violation of the law, says union Vice Chair Karl Fischer.
“It’s essential for a young union to be able to assert its rights according to federal labor law,” Fischer says. “Especially with a company that is not used to dealing with a union.”
Fischer says the union is hoping to explore alternatives to the layoffs such as asking employees who were thinking of leaving, if they want to save someone else’s job.