Oxford University Press Illegally Lays Off Unit Chair, Scott Morales

April 16, 2024 – Today, Oxford University Press USA notified the OUP USA Guild unit chair, Scott Morales, that he was being laid off, effective immediately.

Until today, Scott Morales was Strategy and Transformation Coordinator. He was previously US Stock Planning Coordinator, among other roles. He’s worked at the Press for over 15 years and has been an essential part of not only the company’s function but its community. As the unit chair, he has been an unstoppable force of organizing, inspiring leadership, advocacy, humor, and humility. Beyond being the union’s unit chair, he also volunteered his time on the company’s social committee and was a bastion of OUP USA’s culture. His unjustified layoff hurts him, the Guild, and, of course, his family, including his wife and daughter.

The layoff is illegal and retaliatory. The employer has an obligation to bargain any change to working conditions that occur under status quo–the period of protection afforded to the unit between being certified as representative of the workforce through the moment we reach a CBA. This includes layoffs. The Press did not bargain with the Guild and they did not claim exigent economic reasons for the layoff. The Guild maintains that this is an illegal and retaliatory act, and is already in the process of filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, including a request for a 10(j) injunctive relief.

This layoff represents a blatant pattern of behavior by the Press in which they have failed to show good faith at the bargaining table and have violated labor law. Over two years of bargaining, the Guild has been met with a disingenuous effort from OUP to reach an acceptable deal, such as offering a minimum starting salary of $46,826 USD, far from a livable wage in the New York metro area. The Press is also facing charges for violating US labor law by refusing to bargain over, and eventually moving, work represented by the union to locations overseas. The NLRB has found merit on six of the Guild’s seven charges, and has indicated it will file a complaint against the Press. The NLRB gave the Press an opportunity to bargain in good faith before taking the issue in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Instead, the Press has escalated its illegal behavior by laying off the Guild’s unit chair and conditioning union members’ annual pay reviews on the acceptance of the Press’s latest counter. The Guild is filing further Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges for these additional violations of the Guild’s status quo protections. The Guild is also currently preparing for a ULP strike in the near future.

The Guild remains staunchly committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract for its members, even as the Press wastes its time illegally laying off employees, replacing labor overseas, and withholding employees’ raises.

Scott Morales is available for comment.
For further information and updates about the OUP USA Guild, you can refer to their Twitter/X.