Thursday, July 12, 2007

National Labor Relations Board sides with union at The Washington Post

Membership has its advantages. Today's news of the NLRB's complaint charge against The Post for * failing to negotiate in good faith with the Guild over the extra work employees were "asked" to perform for its radio station, is illustrative of the advantage unionized employees have in seeking redress when their rights are violated.

The Board's complaint, scheduled to go before an administrative law judge in September, also charges that employees were not fairly compensated for the work they contributed to Washington Post Radio. In some cases, employees received no compensation at all for performing additional work.

The NLRB is seeking back pay with interest for employees who allegedly were not compensated fairly.

The decision is a significant legal victory for the members of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild because it reinforces the principle that The Post must deal with the Guild to set minimums for all employees — minimums that most individual employees wouldn't have the clout to negotiate on their own.

"Under established federal labor law, the Guild is the bargaining agent for Post newsroom and commercial employees and is entitled to a meaningful role in determining the employees' terms of employment," Robert E. Paul, attorney for the Washington-Baltimore Guild, said in a statement. "In these cases, the Post unfortunately adopted an unlawful and misguided strategy to carve the Guild out of that equation, one that excluded the Guild from serving as a partner with the Post to fashion solutions in this changing landscape of journalism."

"This victory is a measure of the egregiousness of Post management's disregard for employee rights," said Rick Ehrmann, Guild representative for The Washington Post unit of the Guild.
The Newspaper Guild represents about 1,200 newsroom and commercial dept. employees at The Post. (end of post)

No comments: