Dressed in black for mourning approximately 30 photojournalists (including 20 Guild members) who were unlawfully laid off, more than 20 Guild members led by Chicago Newspaper Guild President David Pollard and CNG Treasurer David Roeder marched into the reception area of Timothy Knight’s office Monday morning.
The goal was to hand-deliver a petition demanding that Sun-Times CEO Timothy Knight join the Guild at the bargaining table. The vast majority of the Guild’s membership signed the petition.
The goal was also to serve Knight with legal notice that he/the company violated federal law because 20 Guild members were laid off after the company represented at the bargaining table that there would not be any more lay-offs among photographers and reporters.
Knight was “too busy” to meet with the Guild who filed into his office Monday, June 3. Instead, a security member and his secretary took a message and politely asked us to leave.
“We asked Mr. Knight to come to the bargaining table because we’ve exhausted all the options. We’ve met with the same group of Sun-Times Media representatives and we cannot move forward. We need to talk to someone else—there’s something wrong and the guy in charge needs to figure it out,” Pollard said.
The Guild began contract negotiations in August 2012. The action to bring the petition and legal paperwork showed that we are standing up for our members, “especially those who were let go last week,” Roeder said.
“We believe the action really affects the integrity of the Sun-Times. Laying off the photographers just removes a whole side of our editorial product and it’s such an important part of the product, especially for a tabloid newspaper and online applications,” Roeder said.
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