By: Lucia Moses
Labor relations remain tense in Rhode Island, where a hearing on 46 charges of labor-law violations at The Providence Journal started last week in Pawtucket as last-minute bargaining with the Providence Newspaper Guild ended with no new contract.
The Guild, which represents about 500 editorial, advertising, production, and other employees, alleges that the company illegally changed employee benefits and working conditions; bargained in bad faith or refused to bargain; and reduced a wage offer in retaliation for union activity. The charges stem from talks between labor and management since the Guild?s contract expired Dec. 31, 1999.
The National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge who is hearing the case could rule next week, but the case could stretch out if either side appeals.