A federal judge yesterday denied a request by the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild for an emergency court order to stop the Washington Star from negotiating with individual employes about resignations or termination of their employment with the company.
Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer ruled after he was assured by lawyers for Star management that any such discussions would be limited -- until a further court hearing -- to a list of 12 employes that the Star said was given to the Guild on March 3. Oberdorfer scheduled a further hearing on the Guild complaint for March 21.
In court papers, the Star said the list covered 12 employes, represented by the Guild, "whose services the Star felt could be eliminated without serious injury to the newspaper." No employes have been discharged as yet, the Star said.
The star contended that when the list was given to the Guild, Star representatives were told to inform the employes that their names were on the list and to advise the employes that they should contact the Guild if they desired representation.
The Guild has argued that Star management had deliberately side-stepped the collective bargaining agreement between the company and the union in allegedly attempting to deal directly with some employes in an effort to terminate their employment. The Guild says it represents about 450 Star employes.
Oberdorfer did not rule yesterday on the merits of the arguments presented by either side in the case. At the close of yesterday's hearing, Oberdorfer informally urged the Guild and the Star to make immediate efforts to put their dispute before a neutral arbitrator.