Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, January 06, 2007

NLRB Hearing on Tuesday

What reads below the line is from The Organized....I concur with the last paragraph!

The threat in question was only on BlogaBarbara for perhaps a few hours during the middle of the day -- it was a mistake that I acknowledged, apologized for and did delete quickly. I will never allow anything like that again. I'm not clear how it could have threatened the election unless potential union members were visiting BlogaBarbara from work that day -- which I doubt as they are likely not wanting their browser histories scrutinized by their bosses. The News-Press publishing the threat in a press release reached a far greater audience than I could have ever dreamed of! It also would have been more likely to hit a reporter's "in" box as it was on Business Wire -- something that reporters see every day (far more than my little blog).



To: All Media
From: The organized SBNP newsroom staff
Re: NLRB hearing Tuesday, Jan. 9, in Santa Barbara

The National Labor Relations Board will hear objections to the Union's September 27 election victory filed by the Santa Barbara News-Press in the Bankruptcy Court Building, 1415 State Street, Courtroom 202, at 9 a.m.

We anticipate victory in connection with these baseless objections which were clearly filed by the company with the sole intent of delaying SBNP co-publisher and owner Wendy McCaw’s obligation to sit down at the table and negotiate a fair contract with her employees, which will restore integrity to the newsroom.

On Sept. 27, the newsroom employees voted 85 percent in favor of the union. Since then, McCaw has refused to acknowledge her federal responsibility to recognize the union and begin negotiations with the staff. Instead, she has continued her campaign of intimidation, harassment and threats, as spotlighted by the NLRB's recent issuance of a complaint against the News-Press charging it with violating federal labor law in its discharge of senior writer Melinda Burns, its cancellation of Starshine Roshell's column, its adoption of a repressive "conflicts of interest" policy, and its attempt to prevent and exact punishment for the employees' concerted effort to deliver a demand and protest letter to McCaw.

The hearing and its anticipated results will pave the way for the negotiation process to begin.

The employer bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that its spurious objections suffice to taint the fairness of the election. An administrative law judge will hear the following frivolous company election objections:

1. Alleged supervisor involvement in the election campaign.

2. Accusations that the website and Teamster bumper stickers somehow led someone to believe the company backed the employees' desire to join a union.

3. Allegations that an anonymous threat against the company on somehow influenced the election.

4. Accusations of threatening behavior when employees delivered a letter to McCaw -- even though the NLRB has already decided to prosecute the company for illegally suspending those who participated in the delivery.

Three of the four frivolous News-Press objections to be heard Tuesday (#'s 1, 2 and 4) were filed by the News-Press and investigated by the NLRB as unfair labor practices and were dismissed by the agency, and the News-Press' appeal of that dismissal was denied. With respect to the objection relating to blogabarbara, the News-Press itself re-published the anonymous threat in a press release it issued just a few days before the election, guaranteeing a wider circulation for that alleged threat than it originally received.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you been asked or subpoened to testify on your posting of that submission and whatever you may be able to determine on where it came from, Sara? That could raise interesting issues ... for example on your right to remain anonymous and NOT testify. Your identity would be much noted if you did.

1/07/2007 6:24 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

That deleted comment was an absurd post by someone trying to inflame passions further. Proving the intent of the commentator would be difficult at best and involving blogabarbara would be even more problematic. I'm just shaking my head even more at the minutia the NP is grasping at. dd

1/07/2007 8:14 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

6:24 AM -- I'll only say that I do have a right to remain anonymous, we all have the consitutional right to assembly and free speech -- whether we like what others have to say or not. As I've said before, however, the comment in question was out of bounds and I did the right thing in deleting it.

1/07/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous worker bee said...

It is so extremely dangerous to start attacking people on the basis of their decision to speak out. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. This can't be overstated.

Frankly, I'm surprised there hasn't been more outrage over McCaw's attack on the small businesses posting signs. That move wet far, far beyond her routine gutlessness. It was designed to convince people they do not have the right to speak, for crying out loud!

My "McCaw Obey The Law" sign is proudly displayed in plain view in the street facing window of my apartment complex. I'm sure hundreds of people see it every day. I dare McCaw to write me a letter. I double dare. My response would be simple: I'd take a picture of my middle finger, print it out, pop it in an envelope, and gingerly walk on down to the nearest mailbox.

In fact, with regard to her nonsensical attack on blogabarbara, put me on the record as giving her the e-finger right now in this very moment. I mean it, McCaw, and I'll say it again (gives e-finger again).

That pesky First Amendment...

1/07/2007 11:08 AM  
Anonymous donald de Santa Barbara said...

Well, I missed the threat, darnit. I hate to miss something like this because I detest censorship and I cannot evalute and respond.

Still, I understand the cautionary deletion but I am concerned that so much weight is given to someone who might visit this blog while on duty. It feels like censorship and at the same time I must acknowledge that the courts have essentailly ruled that your emloyers really do own your body while on company time.

Hopefully everyone understands this and meticuously evaluates their conduct so as not to jeprodize their livelyhood. Please find less conflicting times to read and post to this blog.

Good luck on Tuesday to the News Press Employees and Unionized 85% and the few who slacked off and did not make it 100%!

By the way, wouldn't it be fun to see what sites these perpretrator mangement types are visiting while on duty??? All we can do is imagine...whips'n',, that theres anything wrong with that.

1/07/2007 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't much of a threat, just a joker (presumably from the management side) proposing a stupid 5-point plan. No one bought it. I applaud Sara for posting it rather than censoring it, even though she did have to take it down later. Of course, the News-Press repeated the post in a press release, so the point is moot.

I hope the judge sees the irony in all this, that the News-Press, which says it is the champion of free speech, is actually trying to suppress said free speech, quelching it with litigation threats from lawyers if they don't bend to Wendy's will.

1/10/2007 12:10 PM  

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