New York Times Joins ESGR to Support Guard, Reserve
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2005 The New York Times, one of the country's leading daily newspapers, joined thousands of employers nationwide demonstrating support for the National Guard and Reserve employees here Nov. 3.
Guy "Doc" Holliday, vice president for advertising, represented the Times in making an official declaration of support for the reserve components and their role in the nation's defense during a ceremony at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
Holliday, an Army Reserve major who was mobilized for more than a year as part of the war on terror, signed a statement of support for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Thomas W. Sabo, state chair for the New York ESGR Committee, also presented Holliday the committee's five-star award to recognize the New York Times' longstanding commitment to its reserve-component employees and the military.
The award acknowledges employers who go far beyond their legal requirements to support their Guard and Reserve employees. In the New York Times' case, that includes paying its employers the difference between the civilian and military pay while they are deployed, and serving as an advocate for the reserve components in the community, Sabo explained.
Sol Watson Sr., the Times' vice president and general counsel and also a Vietnam veteran, noted the company's longtime support for and appreciation of the military. Julius Ochs Adler, whose family purchased the company in 1896, was a veteran of both world wars, Watson pointed out.
The first Salute Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair and Career Expo, an event co-sponsored by the New York Times, is just one way the company is continuing its long tradition of reaching out to the military, he said.
The Nov. 3 fair represented a way to thank veterans "for everything they have done to defend and protect our country," Watson said. He expressed hope that employers represented at the fair would use it as an opportunity "to make a contribution to the lives of veterans the way they have made such a profound contribution to the country."
Sabo praised employers like the New York Times who join ESGR "not as cheerleaders, but as team players" in the country's defense.
"They are signing on to the defense of this country," he said, noting the importance of employer support to the ability of the reserve components to carry out their missions.
Sabo described the relationship between Guard and Reserve members, their families and their employers as "a three-legged stool" that enables reserve-component members to work side by side with their active-component counterparts.
By officially joining ESGR and signing its statement of support, the Times' company is sending an important message to other employers about their responsibilities to their Guard and Reserve employees, he said.
The more employers who participate in the program, actively supporting and encouraging their employees' participation in the reserve components, Sabo said, the fewer problems returning Guardsmen and Reservists will face when they return home from deployment.
ESGR has been working since 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between members of the reserve components and their civilian employers.
Committee members help ensure employers understand the role of their citizen-soldier employees in national defense and educate employers and employees alike about their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
Sabo acknowledged that reserve-component deployments put a heavy burden on employers. That's particularly true in small businesses, where losing just one worker during a deployment can be a serious blow.
Yet most employers are taking the challenge it imposes in stride and doing whatever they can to support their employees, he said.
"We want to make sure employers understand their legal obligations, but we also want to let them know that we recognize their contributions and that we're not taking them for granted," Sabo said.