NLRB To Hear Labor Complaints Involving York Papers

By: Joe Strupp

Several unfair labor charges against the York (Pa.) Newspaper Co. – which include a lack of good faith bargaining and failing to give leave time for union negotiators – have prompted the National Labor Relations Board to call for a hearing on the complaints.

The NLRB General Counsel issued a complaint against the York Newspaper Co., which runs business operations for the York Daily Record, York Sunday News and York Dispatch. A hearing on the alleged labor violations raised by the York Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA Local 38218 has also been scheduled, according to a union press release.

The hearing is set for Oct. 24 before an administrative law judge and relates to complaints regarding the York Daily Record and York Sunday News.

“To remedy management’s unfair labor practices, the NLRB general counsel is seeking an order that will restore the leave time taken by employees who are members of the union bargaining committee; require management to bargain in good faith with the union, among other issues; and address the refusal of management to arbitrate a grievance concerning an employee who is the local union’s president, among other issues,” the release stated.

NLRB officials were not available Wednesday morning. York Newspaper Co. President Fred Uffelman could not immediately be reached for comment.

The union filed unfair labor practice charges against the company in March, citing “management’s failure to bargain in good faith and surface bargaining, harassment of the local union president and refusal to give unpaid leaves of absence to members of the bargaining committee to attend contract bargaining,” the union said.

“The decision by the NLRB to issue a complaint and hold a hearing on these serious law violations is a step toward justice for the 55 employees at the York newspaper who have been trying to get a fair contract for a year,” said Carrie Biggs-Adams, who heads the TNG-CWA bargaining committee.

“Some of management’s tactics included insisting on proposals that it knew the union team couldn’t agree to, and sending a company representative to the bargaining table who lacked any authority to bargain,” she said. “We’re very pleased that the NLRB General Counsel is moving forward on this complaint.”

The NLRB action follows another recent union complaint, a petition to the U.S. Attorney General to revoke the antitrust immunity that had been granted for the Joint Operating Agreement for the two York daily newspapers. The union claims MediaNews Group, which owns the Daily Record and Sunday News, has hidden the fact that it is the sole owner and publisher of the York Dispatch as well.

MediaNews management has denied the charge of a hidden ownership.

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