NLRB Judge: Hawaiian Daily Illegally Fired Guild Leaders

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By: Joe Strupp

A daily paper in Hawaii illegally suspended two reporters and fired a third for engaging in union activities, an administrative law judge ruled, according to the Pacific Business News.

The news service reported that a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo violated federal labor laws when it fired the two reporters in 2005 and 2006.

“In a 41-page ruling on March 6, administrative judge John J. McCarrick said managers at the Hilo newspaper? illegally suspended and fired reporters Dave Smith and Hunter Bishop for engaging in union activism, a federally protected right,” the story reported. “McCarrick also said the newspaper illegally suspended another reporter, Peter Sur.”

Bishop had been chairman of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild’s Hilo unit from 2000 to 2004, the story stated. He also was a member of the union’s bargaining committee and a shop steward until his 2005 dismissal.
Smith was a union steward from 2004 to 2006 and also a member of the union’s bargaining committee, the news service reported.

The Tribune-Herald reportedly claimed it fired Bishop for insubordination and low productivity while Smith was fired for secretly tape-recording a meeting with the newspaper’s editor, David Bock, the story said.

“However, McCarrick rejected those claims and said the newspaper was guilty of a number of unfair labor practices including interfering with employees’ collective bargaining rights by interrogating workers about their union-related activities and discriminating against employees and banning them from wearing armbands or buttons in support of the two fired reporters,” the story said.

The ruling can be appealed.

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