Detroit Strikers Win Ruling p.27

By: MARK FITZGERALD BUOYED BY AN administrative law judge's ruling that the Detroit newspaper strike was caused by managements' unfair labor practices, the remaining strikers are increasingly hopeful they will quickly win an injunction that could force the papers to put them back to work within a matter of weeks.
Nancy Dunn, a Detroit Free Press copy editor who is a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions, said the National Labor Relations Board was sending "strong signals" that it might issue a so-called 10-J injunction within as soon as a week.
Under federal labor law, these injunctions are not so easily stayed during the appeals process.
In his June 20 ruling, NLRB administrative law judge Thomas Wilks ordered the newspapers and the joint operating agency to rehire the strikers still not working. However, the order was stayed during the appeals process ? which is often very lengthy.
"We haven't won until we have all the people back to work with contracts ? but it's a sweeping vindication of what we've said all along," Dunn said. "Our lawyers are ecstatic and the NLRB lawyers seem very encouraged that . . . a 10-J injunction should be ordered."
In his decision, Wilks ruled the strike was caused by unfair labor practices by the newspapers ? Knight-Ridder's Free Press and Gannett's Detroit News ? and their joint operating agency, Detroit Newspapers.
Among the findings Wilks cited for his ruling: The papers reneged on their promise to bargain jointly with the six unions; bargained in bad faith on economic issues, improperly threatened workers with permanent replacement and unilaterally imposed merit pay changes without previous bargaining.
Detroit Newspapers officials said the sweeping ruling was not unexpected ? and may provide a good basis for fighting a 10-J injunction.
"We're obviously prepared to fight that court battle. We think we have got a really good case against the need for a 10-J. And [Wilks'] decision even strengthens that case: It shows the court process is working and that the strikers have a remedy through the courts," said Susie Ellwood,
?E&P Web Site:
?copyright: Editor & Publisher June 28, 1997


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here