A Blade executive said the newspaper will contest unfair labor practice charges issued yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board regional office in Cleveland.
The complaint alleges, in part, that the newspaper "insisted on proposals that were predictably unacceptable to the unions." It was issued after complaints were filed by Blade unions involved in contract negotiations.
Joe Zerbey, The Blade's vice president and general manager, said, "We were expecting the complaint and we have done nothing wrong. We are prepared to vigorously defend all of the actions we have taken."
The newspaper has until Jan. 12 to respond to the allegations. A hearing is set for March 19 in Toledo before an NLRB administrative law judge. Once the judge rules, either party has the option of appealing to the five-member NLRB in Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Officials of the Toledo Council of Newspaper Unions couldn't be reached for comment.