Time Inc. has prevailed in a long-standing legal battle with the Newspaper Guild of New York, after Administrative Law Judge Raymond Green dismissed the case on Friday.
In a 49-page opinion, the judge ruled that the publisher was within the rights to declare an impasse and impose its last, best and final offer back in November 2014.
The judge said the Guild adopted a “defensive strategy to stretch out the negotiations as long as possible in order to preclude the company from effectuating any changes in the terms and conditions of employment.”
Two years ago, the Guild said Time Inc.’s offer would impact about 200 newsroom staffers, by sending the jobs overseas. Time Inc. produced an offer, which was declined, which would give Guild members wage increases of 2.5 percent for 2014 and 2015, and a 1 percent rise for 2016. There was also a bonus clause for certain employees depending on the duration of their service. At the time, the publisher said it needed to outsource and subcontract work due to the “challenges affecting the print media business.”
On Monday, Time Inc. executive vice president and chief human resources officer Greg Giangrande said moving the jobs were integral to the company’s “transformation.”
“What the Guild’s strategy failed to take into account is that the future of the 200 employees they represent is necessarily dependent on the success of the enterprise as a whole,” Giangrande said.
He added that Time Inc.’s proposals were “developed with an eye toward what is best for all company stakeholders — not just the 200 members of the Guild.”
With the legal issues settled, the employees represented by the Guild continue to be governed by the expired collective bargaining agreement as modified by the last, best and final offer.
A representative said The Guild is meeting with its attorneys this afternoon to discuss the judge’s decision, and whether it will issue a response.