Firings Forged Reporter's Activism p.8

By: George Garneau MANAGEMENT HAS TRIED to toss reporter Frankie Stapleton off the staff of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald twice before ? but failed.
Each time, under terms of the Newspaper Guild contract, binding arbitration reinstated her with back pay, Stapleton and union officials said.
In 1981, she was fired for alleged "disloyalty" ? for commenting to a Honolulu Advertiser columnist about an editor who left the Tribune. After six months, an arbitrator ruled the firing groundless and reinstated her with back pay.
In 1986, again under publisher Jim Wilson, she was relegated to part-time employment. But, an arbitrator later found, the company hired two part-timers to do her work, so she was ordered returned to full-time status.
These experiences, she said, only reinforced her union commitment.
"I became an activist because of the arbitrary things I saw them do to people," she said.
Binding arbitration is scheduled in April for her latest sacking, on charges she violated contract terms by doing union work on company time ? a charge she denies.
"The company had it in for her for 17 years for whatever reason," said Guild local administrator Wayne Cahill. "This time it's clear they took action based on her union activity."
Publisher Wilson said Stapleton violated contractual terms limiting union activity to that which doesn't "unduly" affect job performance.


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