The NLRB Issues Complaint Against Gannett for Union-Busting at the Atlantic DOT
The Labor Board formally issued a complaint over union-busting by Gannett at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) on November 23, 2021. The Board complaint outlines that the company engaged in an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) when managers within the company:
- Interrogated its employees about their union activities and sympathies, and the union activities and sympathies of other employees.
- Solicited employee complaints and grievances, thereby implicitly promising its employees increased benefits and improved terms and conditions of employment if they refrained from union organizational activity.
- Created an impression among its employees that their union activities were under surveillance by the Company.
- Told employees that choosing a union would not get them any more wages or benefits, thereby informing its employees that it would be futile for them to select the Union as their bargaining representatives.
- Promised its employees improved career opportunities if they refrained from organizational activity on behalf of the Union.
- Threatened employees that selecting a union would negatively impact employees’ job security.
The ULP was originally filed in June of 2021, shortly after the team announced it was forming a union with the NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003. At the time, Gannett declined to voluntarily recognize the union, even though a supermajority of workers signed membership cards and a public mission statement demanding voluntary recognition.
Digital producers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) work across a five-state region that includes 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
“Gannett has waged illegal anti-union actions in an attempt to intimidate our members and pressure us into not certifying since we announced our union. They failed, and now we have been vindicated by the NLRB complaint. This has only made us stronger” says Jack McCloone, Digital Producer, Atlantic DOT. “We’re fighting together, and we look forward to making sure Gannett remains on the right side of the law as we open bargaining together.”
“While the company continues to brag about their profits, it’s evident they will only continue to nickel and dime their workers and go to illegal lengths to hinder our organizing effort if they aren’t challenged” says Adrian Skolzar, Digital Producer, Atlantic DOT. “It only shows why we need our union and why we diligently fought for one.”
Gannett filed an answer to the Board’s complaint on December 7, 2021, denying all allegations, stating the “respondent denies that it has committed any unfair labor practices, and it therefore denies that any remedy or relief is just and proper.” The hearing will be conducted on February 8th, 2022 with the Board acting as prosecutor against Gannett.
ABOUT THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK
The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 4,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals.
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