New York Guild files Unfair Labor Practice charge against Gannett over unionbusting at Atlantic DOT

NEW YORK – The NewsGuild of New York has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board after Gannett managers offered employees benefits in exchange for rejecting the union and created the impression that management was spying on workers’ protected union activities.

Digital producers at the Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) work across a five-state region that produces 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. They announced they are forming a union with the NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003 in early June.

Gannett declined to voluntarily recognize the union, even though a supermajority of workers signed membership cards as well as a Mission Statement supporting the union. A National Labor Relations Board mail-in ballot union election is now scheduled to commence on July 7.

The complaint, filed late Wednesday, deals with multiple violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Charges include that Gannett management promised benefits for rejecting the union and prohibited discussion of the union on work time, even though staff are permitted to discuss other non-work issues during their workday.

“Management should do the right thing for their workers, stop union busting and agree to voluntarily recognize the union,” said Susan DeCarava, President of the NewsGuild of New York. “Whether it be at Gannett, The New York Times, or anywhere else, we will protect the right of workers to organize without interference from union-busting managers.”

Atlantic DOT producer Jack McLoone added that “Gannett’s union-busting tactics won’t stop us from fighting for a seat at the table. Our union is as strong as it was the day we went public, and we look forward to proving that again in our certification election.”

Atlantic DOT producer Sharon Rhodes said, “Gannett’s actions make it glaringly clear why we need our union.”

Follow them on Twitter @a_dotguild.

Photo, clockwise from top: Maria Birnell, Lanette Espy, Nick Siano and Paula Ramirez.