CNN to Pay $76M to Fired Video Technicians

WASHINGTON—CNN has agreed to pay $76 million in backpay to more than 300 individuals stemming from the news network's termination of Team Video Services' contract in 2003, per the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB says that the settlement is the largest monetary remedy in its history.

In 2003, CNN terminated the contract of TVS, which had been providing video services for CNN in Washington, D.C., and New York City. CNN then went on to hire new employees to perform the same work without recognizing or bargaining with the two unions (Local 11 and Local 31 of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians) that represented the TVS employees, NLRB stated.

“CNN sought to operate as a nonunion workplace and conveyed to the workers that their prior employment with TVS and union affiliation disqualified them from employment,” NLRB wrote in its official press release.

In a 2008 hearing, an administrative law judge found that CNN had violated the National Labor Relations Act, saying CNN was a successor to, and joint employer with, TVS. NLRB ordered CNN to negotiate with the unions and provide backpay in 2014, which was then held up by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. The two sides have been working to resolve the dispute through NLRB’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program since the decision.

“The settlement demonstrates the Board’s continued commitment to enforcing the law and ensuring employees who were treated unfairly obtain the monetary relief ordered by the Board,” said General Counsel Peter B. Robb.