Guild offers support to fired Albany newspaper employee

The Buffalo Newspaper Guild will donate $300 a month through the end of the year to assist Lindsay Connors, an Albany Times Union employee in advertising who was fired in July despite the objections of colleagues.

Connors had made an issue of inappropriate actions in advertising, such as staff told to dance for bosses as part of a competition, the local reported. The Times Union also outsourced ad design work without negotiation with the union.

The paper fired the single mother of four by sending her a letter at home on her day off telling her not to return to work, according to the Albany Newspaper Guild, which considers the firing unjustified.

The Buffalo Newspaper Guild’s Executive Committee recently voted to make the donation in the same spirit that arose in 1996, when locals, including Buffalo’s, adopted workers during the Detroit newspaper strike.

“After hearing Lindsay’s story of courage in Orlando and later applauding her winning of the Guild’s Service Award, we were shocked to learn of her callous firing by the Company. We wanted to help Lindsay and her family and a monthly monetary donation will provide some immediate relief,” local representative Tammy Turnbull, who encouraged the Buffalo local to act.

Connors in April helped lead a session on workplace bullying at the Newspaper Guild’s multi-council meeting in Orlando, Fla., where she also received the Guild’s highest honor, the Service Award, presented for outstanding local leadership.

“We thought it was important to help Lindsay and to show solidarity with her and the issues she confronted,” said Guild President Henry L. Davis.

The Albany Newspaper Guild responded on Sept. 11, calling the pledge “an outstanding act of generosity and a sign that the labor movement sticks together” in a post on its website.

“The Albany Guild is truly grateful for this show of support as our local prepares a legal case in support of Lindsay,” the post read.

The concerns in Albany come as our Classified Advertising Department is threatened. The News opened contract talks by saying it would outsource Guild members’ work in classified if changes weren’t made to the cost of running the department and the revenue it generates.