Categorized | Business

NLRB rules in favor of Stephens Media employees

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a ruling in a case against the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, ruling in favor of three employees.

The four-member board upheld the findings of Administrative Law Judge John J. McCarrick, who ruled March 6, 2008, that the newspaper company had violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald and its parent, Stephens Media, had appealed the ruling.

The Board affirmed the Judge’s ruling that Hawaii Tribune-Herald unlawfully:

* Interrogated employees about union activity

* Disparately and discriminatorily enforced a security access policy
against the union

* Discriminatorily prohibited employees from wearing buttons and
armbands in support of discharged or suspended employees

* Promulgated and maintained a rule prohibiting employees from making secret audio recordings of conversations in response to protected activity

* Issued a written warning to employee Koren Nako

* Suspended employees Hunter Bishop, Peter Sur and David Smith

* Discharged Bishop and Smith

* Refused to provide in a timely manner to the Union information
necessary and relevant to its duties as a collective bargaining
representative of employees.

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered the newspaper to cease and desist from the above activities; to offer David Smith and Hunter Bishop immediate and full reinstatement to their former positions; to make Bishop, Smith, and Sur whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered because of their suspensions and discharges.

The paper also is ordered to compute back pay quarterly to the day of their suspension to the date of a proper offer of reinstatement, minus any interim earnings, with compound interest.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald must also remove from its files any reference to the unlawful disciplinary actions.

Bishop currently serves in the Mayor Billy Kenoi Administration as the deputy director of Department of Environmental Management. Smith is a freelance writer on the Big Island. Sur continues to work as a Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter and serves as Big Island Press Club president.

On its website, the Hawaii Newspaper Guild’s retired administrative officer Wayne Cahill lauded the ruling.

“It is about time that the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and its parent Stephens Media end its policy of terrorism against its employees,” Cahill said. “This newspaper company needs to buck up and rescind its illegal policies, rescind the illegal discipline, hire back Hunter Bishop and Dave Smith, and pay them the back pay and benefits they are due.”

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald is owned by Stephens Media. Members of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the California Media Workers recently approved a merger to form the Pacific Media Workers Guild.

PDF of the NLRB ruling against the Hawaii Tribune-Herald

— Find out more:
National Labor Relations Board: nlrb.gov/case/37-CA-007045
Hawaii Newspaper Guild: cwahawaii.org/index.php

One Response to “NLRB rules in favor of Stephens Media employees”

  1. Dave Smith says:

    Update: The Tribune-Herald appealed the NLRB ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 16.

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