Labor Board supports Guild’s charge that Chronicle unfairly intimidated developers

December 10, 2021

The Pacific Media Workers Guild is proud to announce a victory in a settlement with the San Francisco Chronicle.

When the Chronicle’s staff of developers chose to go through the organizing process to join the Guild, Chronicle HR held a captive audience meeting with them and threatened to lower their wages and benefits if they joined the union.

The union filed unfair labor practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in August over the attempt to intimidate workers out of organizing with us.

In addition, when the workers participated in a Zoom NLRB hearing that the company forced over the organizing drive, Chronicle HR docked their pay for the length of the hearing, though the developers are salaried rather than hourly. The company also docked the pay of bargaining committee members who joined to listen while working.

The regional NLRB reviewed the charges and agreed with the Guild that those actions constituted unfair labor practices. Rather than taking this to a hearing with the NLRB to affirm the region’s position, the union and company reached a settlement agreement on Dec. 10. We will drop the charges if the company rescinds the unilateral policy of docking workers’ pay when participating in or listening in on an NLRB hearing. The company will notify members of their mistake, and make restitution to the members whose pay was docked. The company agreed to this settlement and will be sending a statement to our unit soon.

The Guild applauds the members who spoke up and testified through the ULP process to hold the company accountable. And we’re proud that workers didn’t accept the company’s attempt to intimidate those who were organizing as union members. As always, we’re stronger together.

In solidarity,

Michael Applegate, PMWG executive officer
Caroline Grannan, PMWG Chronicle unit chair
Mike Cabanatuan, PMWG Chronicle unit acting vice chair

pdf doc A victory for the Guild

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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.