September 29, 2022
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News-Press heads into trial with Labor Board

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Ampersand Publishing, parent company of the Santa Barbara News-Press, went before a federal labor judge May 26 for what’s expected to be a 20-day trial over charges of bad-faith bargaining with and illegal firing of a union worker.

The trial is the second in two years in which attorneys from the National Labor Relations Board have taken the News-Press before an administrative law court.

In 2007, a federal labor judge ordered the newspaper to reinstate several reporters who the union alleged were illegally fired after taking part in protected unionizing activities. The News-Press appealed, but the full National Labor Relations Board has yet to rule on the dispute.

The new charges against the News-Press allege the paper bargained with its employees’ union in bad faith. They also claim the newspaper illegally fired a member of the union’s negotiating team; discontinued annual raises and bonuses after a union vote; hired temporary employees to undermine the union; laid off employees without bargaining with the union and interfered with investigations of the National Labor Relations Board.

Check back with the Business Times for updates on the trial.