Guild charges Newsweek new owner with muzzling employees

09/23/2013

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For Immediate Release        

 

Guild accuses Newsweek's new owner
of illegally muzzling employees

 

NEW YORK, Sept. 23- The Newspaper Guild of New York has accused the new owner of Newsweek of prohibiting its journalists and other employees from discussing their working conditions or criticizing their employer, a violation of U.S. labor law.

 

The Guild cited the restrictive policies in an unfair labor practice charge filed with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday against Newsweek LLC, the former national news weekly magazine that is now all digital and was purchased by privately held IBT Media in August.

 

“The law gives all employees the right to discuss their pay and other terms of employment with one another, even if it means being critical of their employers,” said Guild President Bill O'Meara. “It's especially disturbing that the owner of a news organization doesn't seem to understand that.”

 

The NLRB will now investigate the Guild's charge, which accuses Newsweek of violating two sections of the National Labor Relations Act. If the labor board finds merit in the Guild's charge, it will file a complaint – similar to an indictment – against the company that will lead to a trial before an administrative law judge, unless a settlement is reached.

 

The Guild represents employees at the all-digital Newsweek/The Daily Beast, which is owned by New York-based IAC/InterActiveCorp [Nasdaq: IACI]. In August, IAC announced it was selling Newsweek to IBT Media, also based in New York, which publishes the International Business Times, a global news publication.

 

The Guild's charge could potentially affect all IBT Media employees covered by the restrictive policy, not just Guild-represented employees. In recent years, the NLRB has extended employee rights to freely discuss their working conditions to social media.

 

The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents more than 2800 journalists and other employees, mostly in New York area-based news organizations, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters and Time Inc. It was launched in 1934 by a group of journalists that included crusading columnist Heywood Broun.

 

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Contact: Bill O’Meara - (212) 575-1580

 

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