BREAKING: NewsGuild of New York, Sports Illustrated Union take legal action over layoffs
“It’s clear that The Arena Group ownership is using an engineered dispute over the SI license as a cover to union-bust and unlawfully target our members,’ says Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York
NEW YORK – The NewsGuild of New York and Sports Illustrated Union took legal action against The Arena Group on Thursday, accusing the company of targeting employees for immediate termination because of their union activity.
On Jan. 19, every member of the SI union was told they would be laid off as a result of Authentic Brands Group (ABG) revoking Arena’s license to publish SI. Supervisors and managers at the publication, though, have not been laid off.
While most of the union employees were given 90 days’ notice under the New York State WARN Act, a handful were immediately let go, including one SI union officer and one who had recently filed a grievance against the company.
On Thursday, The NewsGuild of New York filed an unfair labor practice charge on behalf of the Sports Illustrated Union against The Arena Group, accusing the company of discharging employees because of their support of the union, engagement in union activities and engagement in other protected activities.
“It’s clear that The Arena Group ownership is using an engineered dispute over the SI license as a cover to union-bust and unlawfully target our members,” said Susan DeCarava, president of The NewsGuild of New York. “Filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board is just the first step, as we continue to explore all options for our membership.”
Former CEO Ross Levinsohn, who resigned from the board of The Arena Group, cited union-busting and the layoffs as reasons for his leaving, along with accusing the board of acting illegally.
“Today’s obliteration of Sports Illustrated’s storied newsroom and the union busting tactics is the last straw. These actions and the inaction of this board are illegal, riddled with self-dealing, and will almost certainly lead to shareholder lawsuits. In my more than 30 years inside of public and private companies, I’ve never witnessed more negligence in my career.” Levinsohn said in his resignation letter.
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