The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found that CNN discriminated against its workers in Washington, D.C., and New York City and has ordered the news organization to reinstate more than 100 workers with retraining and back pay.
Administrative law judge Arthur Amchan of the NLRB found that CNN engaged in “widespread and egregious misconduct” and demonstrated “a flagrant and general disregard for the employees’ fundamental rights” when it ended its services with Team Video Services four years ago.
In December 2003 and January 2004, CNN terminated its long-standing relationship with Team Video Services, whose members were NABET-CWA members, and directly hired nonunion employees to perform the technical work at the two bureaus. CNN’s goal, the decision said, was to operate the bureaus without union representation.
CNN denied it violated the National Labor Relations Act and said it disagreed with the NLRB’s decision. The news organization said because it is appealing, the decision is not enforceable.
Amchan, however, found that CNN was a joint employer of Team Video Services and was obligated to recognize and bargain with the NABET-CWA over the decision to terminate the subcontracting relationship, as well as in the hiring of new employees. He ordered the company to recognize the union in the future in both cities.
NABET-CWA called the judge’s ruling a “huge decision” in its member’s favor.