A National Labor Relations Board judge has found that layoffs of NABET-CWA Local 24 President Dianne Chase, Frank Lavergehtta, and Mike Stoffel from radio stations owned by Stephens Media Group (SMG) in Watertown and Massena, N.Y., were unlawful. The judge found that the elimination of the part-time shifts and reduction in hours for several other NABET-CWA members and an interrogation of a NABET-CWA member as to whether he would cross a picket line also violated the National Labor Relations Act.
In addition, the judge found that SMG unlawfully declared an impasse and implemented unilateral changes (including the layoffs and reduction in hours) at the radio stations in Watertown and unlawfully terminated the employment of David Romigh, Local 24 shop steward in Massena, for criticizing management.
The judge ordered SMG to reinstate the workers with back pay and interest and to resume contract bargaining with the union. The order must be reviewed by the NLRB before taking effect.
"This decision is a big victory for the workers at SMG, and shows that when workers fight back against union busting, they win," said NABET-CWA President Charlie Braico.