No Justice for CNN Workers After 10 Years? Outrageous! Take Action Now By Calling the NLRB!
An email I received today from my union regarding the CNN case that plagued many careers in the TV industry, including mine.
“It is incomprehensible that ten years have now painfully passed by since CNN America hatched its scheme to unlawfully oust the Union from CNN studios and field work at news bureaus in New York City and Washington, D.C. It is further incomprehensible that it has now been over five years since Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan found, in a 170 page decision, that CNN America had committed substantial violations of the National Labor Relations Act when it terminated its subcontracting relationship with Team Video Services– whose employees were members of NABET-CWA Locals 11 and 31. CNN also was found to have discriminated against TVS employees who sought to continue their employment at CNN’s bureaus because of the employees’ support of the Union. Judge Amchan’s decision included an order that required CNN to recognize and bargain with NABET-CWA. It also included an order to reinstate more than 110 members who were discriminated against when they were not hired directly by CNN. Finally the order provided for “make whole” remedies including back pay for lost earnings as well as compensation for lost benefits for all 250 people affected by these violations. It is estimated that this case is the largest back pay case ever in the history of the NLRB, with CNN potentially liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars for each terminated worker.
You would think that a back pay award of that significance, or a case so long in the wings waiting for final justice, would rise to the top of any backlog docket. Tragically, this final justice has yet to arrive despite the overwhelming decision by Judge Amchan, needlessly prolonging this painful chapter for CNN members and their families. Sadly, some workers who had their careers unlawfully cut down and their lives upended have passed away, leaving only their surviving family members with the chance to see the day when this moral wrong is eradicated. Others may never fully overcome the wounds inflicted by CNN America, as they were forced to change careers, take on enormous debt or sell their houses or liquidate savings in order to survive.
Despite the fact that NABET-CWA Locals 11 and 31, as well as the Sector and CWA, have utilized every resource at our disposal to facilitate this final justice, no final decision has yet been rendered by the NLRB, leaving us as frustrated and disappointed as any of you. We have all waded through the trial, and waded through the political gridlock in Washington, D.C. which had delayed White House nominations on Agency appointments, including at the NLRB.
With a fully seated NLRB now in place, every NABET-CWA member needs to contact the office of NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, at 202-273-1070. When you do, ask two simple questions; “What is the status of the CNN case involving NABET-CWA and when will a final decision be issued?
Please report any response that you receive from the NLRB by e-mailing us at NABET-CWA@cwa-union.org. It is vitally important that you provide us with these reports so that we can track the volume of calls as well as any responses the NLRB provides to callers.
It is our hope that a louder chorus will deliver a message seemingly unheard to date. That message is, “A ten-year wait for justice is outrageous!”