Saturday, November 22, 2008

CWA-NABET VS CNN Lawsuit Update -The Union Wins!!

The National Labor Relations Board’s Unfair Labor Practice case against CNN and Team Video Services went to Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan in October. The ALJ Decision was issued this week. The judge ruled for the union in all respects.

In the scathing 169 page decision, the ALJ finds that CNN and TVS were joint employers, that the CWA-NABET Locals 11 and 31 were legitimate successors, and that those not hired were fired as part of the sham Bureau staffing project.

The judge orders CNN to reinstate the union contracts upon their request, to recognize and bargain with the two CWA-NABET locals, order reinstatement and back pay for the discriminatees, provide training if necessary to the rehired employees, the payment of back dues to Locals 31 and 11 for those employees on checkoff, and the ALJ orders a broad cease and desist order.

The company is also ordered to post notices throughout the workplace and to mail copies of that notice to all persons working at the CNN bureaus at the time the TVS contracts were cancelled.

At every turn, the Administrative Law Judge discredits CNN witnesses and credits the witnesses who testified for the two unions.

While I have not had the time to fully digest the decision, it is clear that this is a complete victory for CWA-NABET.

It’s important to understand that the Judge’s ruling may not be the final chapter, there is an appeals process afforded to the side that loses. The Judge’s ruling is first appealed to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. who are appointed by the U.S. President.

Sometime after the next presidential administration takes office, a reconstituted National Labor Relations Board will be appointed pending Senate approval. Until the new board is in place nothing will happen in regards to an appeal.

Following a decision by the Board, the losing side can then appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Each step in the process can be lengthy due to the complexities of this case and the large volume of documents involved. Of course, there’s always the chance that all appeals will not be filed, but if it does, it should not come as a surprise to CWA-NABET members.

Still this ruling is a good thing for labor, it is nice to win one.

1 comment:

Wodstock Willy said...

As the saying goes, "The wheels of justice grind exceeding slow.....".
"When the train finally pulls into the terminal", I trust those who have been wronged will be fairly compensated.