US labor board orders CNN to rehire fired workers

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board ruled against the CNN cable television network on Monday in an 11-year-old labor dispute, ordering the network to rehire or compensate about 300 former workers.

The NLRB agreed with a November 2008 ruling by one of its administrative judges that CNN improperly replaced a unionized subcontractor, Team Video Services (TVS), with in-house non-union staffers, claiming "anti-union" bias.

"We agree with the judge, essentially for the reasons he states, that CNN committed each of these violations," the board wrote.

The board gave CNN 14 days to rehire the former TVS employees for "their former positions or, if those jobs no longer exist, to substantially equivalent positions."

It also told CNN to pay bargaining union employees for any adverse tax consequences that may result from the lump-sum reimbursements.

A CNN statement said the network disagrees with the NLRB decision and is evaluating options.

In a statement, Jim Joyce, the president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communication Workers of America, welcomed the decision.

"These workers have waited far too long for this measure of justice to finally be delivered and have suffered far too much as the result of these unlawful activities. CNN should do the right thing now and immediately comply with the," Joyce said.

NLRB member Philip Miscimarra issued a partial dissent. He said his areas of agreement with the other board members "are obscured by my colleagues' more sweeping pronouncements of illegality that, in my view, cannot be squared with our precedents and the record."

At issue are roughly 100 former workers and 200 who continued to work at CNN in its Washington and New York bureaus without a union contract.


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