Friday, January 16, 2009

Labor Board approves charges against MediaNews*

We know many of you have been waiting eagerly for news about the litigation we filed against the company after last March's layoffs and copy editor/designer transfers to the Daily Breeze. Well, here it is:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined that its investigation into two of our charges found sufficient merit to go to a full hearing unless the company comes to a settlement with the union.

1. The Board's investigation reveals sufficient evidence to show that the Employer unilaterally eliminated departments and jobs by transferring unit work to another employer, resulting in the substitution of non-union employees to perform the same work; and unilaterally eliminated a sports desk reporter position. The NLRB's investigation found "sufficient evidence to show that the Employer subcontracted out unit work in the design and copy-editing departments."

2. The Employer "failed and refused to supply the Union with requested information."

The company has been notified of the NLRB complaints. MediaNews must either negotiate a settlement with the Guild on those complaints, or it will have to answer allegations on its behavior at a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. To avoid a long and expensive hearing, we hope to reach a settlement agreement with the employer soon.

Other charges, some of which our lawyers felt had strong supporting evidence, did not fare as well with the Board. While we could appeal that decision, the appeals process would delay our successful charges, and we would not gain any additional benefit in terms of resolution, so our only real benefit would be in the "Gotcha!" moment of having another charge against the employer, and we think that's not worth the extra delay.

We know this has been a long time coming, and we appreciate the patience you've shown as our efforts to hold MediaNews accountable made their way through the administrative process. These successful charges demonstrate our commitment to seeing things through, no matter how long it takes.

These board charges could not have happened without the support of our members who stood by their convictions to give testimony and demand equality for themselves and their colleagues. Without their courage, none of this would be possible. Our thanks go out to each and every member who helped make this possible.

*Clarification: In order to avoid a hearing (date set by the Board), the company must negotiate with the union a fair settlement agreement for those impacted by the company's illegal maneuvering. Former P-T staffers who were either transfered to the Daily Breeze or laid off in March, 2008, can call Vicki Di Paolo at the Guild office (562-259-9430) for more information.


Anonymous said...

What does that mean for the people who lost their jobs or got sent to Torrance?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"What does that mean for the people who lost their jobs or got sent to Torrance?"

Good question, is there a designated time frame in which the company has to comply? And then would those (former) members affected be notified of any resolution/settlement individually?

Anonymous said...

Well seeing that the union has no ballz you will get a gas coupon and a burrito for TNG not doing a thing to stop the transfer, for having a weak contract and unsure leadership that blame the members and not themselves.

Where is Berni Lunzer ? Is he too busy at the inauguration ?

Has he been to Southern California since elected ?

Anonymous said...

MNG is doing the same thing though with sending daily breeze, press telegram, daily news etc copy desks and news desks to san gabe in a universal consolidation.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 11:52 AM: Only the Daily News deskers have union protection. Company has to talk to the union before it does anything with those guys, seeing as how it just got nailed for breaking the law when it moved P-T union-covered deskers to the Breeze without taking with union. Membership has its advantages. Not many you might think. But when it counts ...