Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NLRB vs CNN/Team Video Update

In November 2008, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan issued a scathing decision against CNN, finding that the network created a phony reorganization scheme to get rid of workers because they had a union, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA.

The judge said that CNN engaged in widespread and egregious misconduct, demonstrating a flagrant and general disregard for workers' rights.

He ordered the immediate reinstatement of the 110 workers who were not rehired through CNN's scam hiring system, called for the restoration of the economic losses of all 250 workers and ordered CNN to recognize and bargain with NABET-CWA. None of CNN's defenses was accepted by the judge.The former TVS employees were recently sent a letter with various attachments from Wayne Gold, the Regional Director of NLRB Region 5, along with a questionnaire concerning earnings since TVS ceased operations at CNN's Washington bureau and CNN began to self-perform that work.

Two years after that decision, after the NLRB judge confirmed CNN's union-busting practices, CNN technicians still are waiting for justice, said Jim Joyce, president of NABET-CWA.

CWA's motion calls on the NLRB to give this case priority over all other pending cases. This action is necessary, CWA said, because none of the remedies ordered by the ALJ in 2008 have been implemented and more than 204 workers are due substantial remediation. The saying "justice delayed is justice denied" has particular relevance to violations of the National Labor Relations Act, CWA said, because such delay makes it more difficult for workers to believe they will ever obtain justice under the law. CWA called for a decision to be issued without further delay. Read the filing HERE.

NLRB News Release:
Board orders compound interest

To read the full Press Release click HERE.

This press release reinforces the board's policy that back pay will be with interest that is compounded daily. Decisions update NLRB remedial actions to reflect current practices.

CNN/Time-Warner files their opposition to Expedited Hearing Before the Board.

To read the opposition filing click HERE.

NLRB Begins Caluculating Back Pay Due NABET Members

It is extremely important that you respond to the NLRB as completely and accurately as you are able. If you have questions about any information requested you should contact the Region 5 Compliance Office at  Please mention that you are a former TVS employee at the D.C. location on the subject line of the e-mail.

You can also contact Compliance Officer, Emily Hunt at 410-962-2864 or the Assistant Compliance Officer Sumintra Aumiller at 410-962-2838.

If your questions are not fully answered, you can contact Local 31 counsel Brian Powers at  or Keith Bolek at Please speak to the NLRB Compliance Officer first before reaching out to union counsel.

The requested information is needed to calculate the amount of backpay owed to former TVS employees covered by the decision of the Administrative Law Judge. This entitlement extends to both former TVS employees who were hired by CNN, as well as former TVS employees who were not hired by CNN. The NLRB calculates backpay by calendar quarters. It is also necessary to show that you diligently searched for work if you were unemployed, and the amounts of interim earnings received. You will also be able to document any added expenses that you incurred as the result of the actions by TVS/CNN.

I realize that the gathering of this documentation is a laborious exercise. However, it is necessary in order to place you in a position to collect what is owed to you. If you believe that you are entitled to backpay but did not receive a letter from the NLRB, please contact the NLRB Compliance Office as indicated above and explain that you were employed by TVS in December 2003 and are entitled to backpay.

It is also important to keep Local 31 and the NLRB informed of your current address and any changes to your contact information. In this regard, we ask your help to obtain current contact information (address and phone numbers) for the following: Brenda Elkins, Lori Jennings, Daniel Lopez, Thomas Tyler, Alvester Williams, Kenneth White, and Ronald Davis. Any help that you can provide to locate these individuals is greatly appreciated.

The appeal of the Administrative Law Judge's decision to the five member NLRB is still pending. We continue to believe that we have a strong case and should prevail on appeal. The recent communications from the NLRB is no indication that the NLRB will soon issue its decision though we certainly hope that a decision will issue soon. By providing the requested information to the NLRB Compliance Officer, the Board will be in a position to determine backpay without undue further delay once CNN's appeals are exhausted.

While we are very disappointed with the delay that has occurred in this case, I am pleased to report that the NLRB has issued decisions in the past year that have been fair, well reasoned and without the tilt towards management that we saw during the years when President Bush appointed the members of the NLRB. This bodes well for our prospects on appeal. Your patience has been remarkable. This case has been a beacon of light to show that no matter the resources of our adversaries, our rights will be vindicated in the end.

In solidarity,

Carl Mayers
NABET-CWA Local 31

NLRB / CNN forms information:

All the TVS/CNN employees who were illegally fired are getting back pay assessment packages from the NLRB.

The Board has sent out a large mailing of questionnaires to CNN discriminatees. They're asking people to return their earnings and work search information for the period through December 31, 2005 by June 15, 2011 and have established a later date by which they would like the remaining information. We understand that this will be very challenging for a number of discriminatees and both the Board and the Union will work with them as needed. We anticipate many phone calls.

The Union realizes that filling these forms and answering the questions may require some assistance. Members may call the Union Office at 301-495-4999, and can get the phone number for the NLRB regional office who can answer their questions directly.

Members can also request a electronic copy of the Questionnaire, by email request to:  Be sure to mention your Team Video employment location (DC or NY) in the subject line. The form will be emailed to them, and they can submit their completed form via email.

To help those members with the calculation of pack pay, the former TVS/CNN contract is posted HERE for your reference.

For further information on NLRB vs. CNN/Team Video:

Members want to know, what does the NLRB decision mean? Look HERE.

Landmark NLRB Decision Against CNN America Look HERE. 

No comments: