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A day of decision for Times Guild members

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When Guild President Bill O'Meara called for a vote on the tentative Guild-Times contract on Nov. 13 (top left), the hands went up throughout the packed hall, Guild staff member Patricia Trattner helped tally them up (top center), while those in the standing-room section voted on their feet. (Photos by Suzanne DeChillo)

They debated with vigor, and then came the time to vote

On Nov. 13, hundreds of Times Guild members jammed the Hotel Trades Council hall, nearly four blocks from the Times building, to vote on the tentative contract that was reached on Oct. 28.

Debate over ratification had been spirited and widespread in the days leading to the vote. Some insisted the terms of the deal were inadequate and should be rejected, while others said they were the best they were likely to get without resorting to more drastic means and a riskier confrontation with management. But at the two New York meetings there was little debate about the deal. Members came to vote.

Guild President Bill O’Meara reviewed the highlights of the contract, addressed the risks of rejecting the deal and joined a majority of the Guild Bargaining Committee in recommending that members ratify it. Voting was done separately by each of the two Guild units – print and digital – at The Times that would be consolidated under the new contract. If either unit voted against ratification, the deal would have gone down.

In the end, members were decisive in ratifying the deal. The print side, including those based in Washington and elsewhere, voted for the contract by 472 to 43 with one abstention. The digital unit voted for ratification, 49 to 21.

(See Guild press release)

 

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For Christoph Fuhrmans of the digital unit and his wife, Sharilyn Hufford of the print unit (above left), the ratification vote results meant they both would be covered by the same contract. Their daughter, Hannah, abstained. Above right, Guild President Bill O'Meara briefs members on the contract before the vote. Below, the ayes had it.