Saturday, January 11, 2020

CNN to Pay $76 Million to Union Cameramen - Did Trump Admin do a Hit?

The board said the settlement was the largest monetary remedy in its 84-year history and more than the amount the agency collects in a typical year. The agreement ends a long-running dispute that erupted in 2003, when CNN terminated a contract with Team Video Services, which had provided audio and video services to the cable company’s New York and Washington bureaus. CNN then hired new employees to perform the same work without recognizing or bargaining with the two unions that had represented the Team Video Services employees, the board said Friday.... NYT - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/business/cnn-labor-dispute-settlement.html
Oh that old neo-liberal media. And we know how Trump who packed the NLRB loves unions. But he hates CNN even more.

The Communications Workers threatened to picket the CNN sponsored Democratic debate this week. NLRB which has been pretty anti-union but especially under Trump came through just in time. But it make me wonder since Trump hates CNN so much did the NLRB jump at the chance to embarrass CNN and also hit it hard financially even if giving the unions a win?

Oh the delicious irony. And best of all, my fellow videographer at the Rockaway Theatre Company was one of the cameramen. Maybe I can get him to take me to lunch. But he just emailed "show me the money." Bet lawyers get most of it.

CNN Agrees to Pay $76 Million to Settle Allegations It Violated Federal Labor Law

The National Labor Relations Board said the settlement with unionized broadcast technicians was the largest monetary remedy in its 84-year history.




  • CNN has agreed to pay $76 million in back pay to settle allegations that it violated federal labor law when it replaced hundreds of unionized broadcast technicians more than 15 years ago, the National Labor Relations Board said Friday.

    The board said the settlement was the largest monetary remedy in its 84-year history and more than the amount the agency collects in a typical year.
    The agreement ends a long-running dispute that erupted in 2003, when CNN terminated a contract with Team Video Services, which had provided audio and video services to the cable company’s New York and Washington bureaus.
    CNN then hired new employees to perform the same work without recognizing or bargaining with the two unions that had represented the Team Video Services employees, the board said Friday.

    “CNN sought to operate as a nonunion workplace,” the board said, and made clear to the workers that their prior employment with Team Video Services and union affiliation “disqualified them from employment.”
    The agreement will benefit about 300 camera operators, sound technicians, studio technicians and broadcast engineers.
    “After more than 15 years, this settlement agreement finally delivers justice for workers who experienced serious hardship in their lives due to CNN’s union-busting practices,” Charlie Braico, the president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, said in a statement. “This incredible settlement in workers’ favor should send a very clear message to CNN and to other employers that union-busting is illegal and has consequences.”
    CNN released a brief statement acknowledging the settlement.
    “After more than a decade of litigation, negotiation and appeals we are pleased to have resolved a longstanding legal matter,” the statement said.
    The agreement came just days before the broadcast employees’ union, which is part of the Communications Workers of America, had planned to picket outside the next Democratic presidential debate, which CNN is hosting on Tuesday at Drake University in Des Moines. The union said it had told CNN, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic candidates who had qualified for the debate of its plan to picket the event. 

    “We are grateful to Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez for his help ensuring that this debate will proceed without the disruption of a labor dispute,” Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, said in a statement. “The Democratic presidential candidates demonstrated their commitment to working people by intending to honor the picket line.”
    The case hinged partly on whether CNN could be considered a so-called joint employer of the Team Video Services workers, meaning that it had legal obligations to them under labor law even though it didn’t hire them directly. Companies that have relationships with contractors and franchisees can be considered joint employers of their workers if they exercise sufficient control over them.
    The current standard for judging whether a company like CNN is a joint employer was set during the Obama administration and allows a company to be deemed a joint employer even if it exercises only indirect control over workers employed by a contractor, such as requiring the use of software that locks in scheduling practices. The current labor board is widely expected to narrow this standard in the coming weeks, which would make it harder to hold parent companies liable for labor law violations.
    The Communications Workers of America accused CNN of waging such a long, protracted battle against the workers that several of them died before the dispute could be resolved.
    An administrative law judge ruled in 2008 that CNN violated the National Labor Relations Act and that CNN was a joint employer with Team Video Services. But the union said CNN then filed more than 1,600 exceptions with the board.
    In 2014, the board ordered CNN to bargain with the unions and provide back pay. But the union said CNN appealed the decision to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which upheld most of the board’s findings in 2017 and enforced its order that CNN cease and desist from refusing to recognize and bargain with the unions.
    The court, however, remanded the board’s joint employer finding for further clarification, along with the issue of back pay for further consideration by the board.

    The parties agreed to resolve their dispute through the board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program.
    Under the terms of the agreement, CNN will pay the $76 million to the board, which will make payments to the affected workers. The payments will compensate them for the protracted length of the case and the tax consequences from the size of the payouts, the union said, adding that it will withdraw all pending charges against CNN.
    Peter B. Robb, the board’s general counsel, said that “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.”
    Noam Scheiber contributed reporting.

    13 comments:

    1. This week CNN settled a multi million dollar lawsuit for for defamation of the Covington boys who were the actual victims. Check out the full video on youtube, not the doctored version that CNN ran with. Not a word on elite media about this victory against activist journalism.

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    2. It must be so nice to have a one-track simple minded political view. I'm sure your side doesn't doctor anything. CNN is the neo-liberal version of FOX. The real left has no equivalent other than podcasts.

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      1. 'One track minded political view. ' LOL!! Never a discussion with Norm, just insults.

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      2. I gave a specific example. Can you provide one.

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    3. Anyone who gets their information from CNN will be poorly informed. The truth is often hidden and has to be pursued. Fortunately, the internet broke the monopoly on the dissemination of information that was controlled by a handful . (perhaps 7) of powerful people.

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    4. I take all sources with a grain of salt. Left right and center and extract the truth.

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    5. PBS is doing a special on Joseph Mcarthy. No mention of the Venona papers that essenially vindicate him. (google it) We only know about Venona because of the internet.

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    6. You got to be kidding. Did you watch that special? Probably not. You must also be a Roy Cohn fan. You don’t believe cnn but you buy Verona. Twisted.

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    7. It's Venona. Check 'Venona Project' Wikileaks. Wiki is an establishment source. All the names are there. The main players, Rosenbergs, Dexter, Fuchs, in detail. The real question is how and why this is not common knowledge.

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    8. To have a balanced view of history we need to know all sides of an issue.

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    9. And yet again, the ones who scream loudest about democracy and inclusion become the censors. LOL!!!

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    10. Holy shit - how twisted. Of course there were Soviet spies - that was not what McCarthy was about but you read some right wingnut sights that say he was. Watch the PBS special for homework.

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    11. But the soviet spies were pretending to be Americans. They were, IMF, United Nations, World bank, Fed Reserve law writers, you know, the globalist stuff. I can supply all the names if you like. The Cohn movie second part starts tommorow at 1pm. Watch, and pay attention.

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