Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NLRB to CNN: Rehire workers

National Labor Relations Board finds the network violated labor laws
By Leslie Simmons

Nov 24, 2008, 08:19 PM ET

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered CNN to reinstate more than 100 workers in New York and Washington after finding that the news network violated labor laws when it ended its subcontract agreement with Team Video for camera, studio and engineering work.

In December 2003 and January 2004, CNN ended its long-standing relationship with Team Video and directly hired employees to perform the tech work at the two bureaus. According to the 169-page decision, CNN's goal was to operate the bureaus without a union.

Administrative law Judge Arthur Amchan, however, found that CNN was a joint employer of Team Video Services and was obligated to recognize and bargain with the National Association of Broadcast Employees & Technicians-Communications Workers of America over the decision to terminate the subcontracting relationship, as well as in the hiring of new employees.

Amchan found that CNN engaged in "widespread and egregious misconduct demonstrating a flagrant and general disregard for the employees' fundamental rights."

CNN said it will appeal the decision.

"CNN disagrees with the recommended decision and denies that it violated the National Labor Relations Act," the network said. "CNN plans to appeal this decision to the full NLRB. Because an appeal will be filed, the judge's recommended decision is not enforceable and is not binding."

Amchan's decision also orders CNN to recognize the unions in New York and Washington; retrain those reinstated, if needed; and restore any bargaining work that was outsourced after the Team Video contracts ended.

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