Gannett has contacted the representative from the international Newspaper Guild who will present our case in the arbitration for seven employees laid off in December, seeking to postpone the hearing set for July 28. The lawyer for Gannett contacted our representative the morning after our membership voted 97-9 to reject the company’s contract offer and its demand that the Guild drop the arbitration. The lawyer for Gannett said he needs more time to prepare.
The Guild officers instructed our representative to stenuously oppose this postponement. Our position is the company has known for six months this arbitration was coming and that is more than enough time to prepare. We asked him to stress to the arbitrator that we are representing seven employees who were improperly laid off seven months ago, creating a severe financial hardship for all of them. We are prepared and ready to proceed July 28.
Our representative informed us he expects the arbitrator to grant a reasonable postponement regardless of the Guild’s opposition. At this point, we await the arbitrator’s decision.