Labor Board Orders CNN to Rehire 100 Fired Employees


The National Labor Relations Board has ordered CNN to rehire 100 workers and compensate 200 others for a labor dispute that originated in 2003.

The 11-year dispute stems from CNN’s decision to replace a unionized subcontractor called Team Video Services, which provided the network with audio and video technicians, with an in-house nonunion work force in its Washington and New York bureaus.

The decision comes weeks after CNN’s top boss Jeff Zucker hinted at additional job cuts at the Turner-owned news channel, which employs over 2,000 people.

“We are going to have to do what we do with less,” he said in a memo to CNN employees. “As a result, that means there will be changes. No final decisions have been made.”

It’s unclear how the NLRB’s ruling will impact the expected restructuring at the news operation.

The Labor Board found “overwhelming” evidence of anti-union animus in CNN’s  failure to bargain with the union about the decision to terminate the subcontracts. The org also found CNN had implemented a hiring plan designed to limit the number of discharged TVS employees to avoid a successorship bargaining obligation.

A CNN spokesperson said, “CNN disagrees with the NLRB decision and we are evaluating our options.”

The Communication Workers of America said that CNN’s 2003 decision had amounted to a “phony reorganization scheme to get rid of unionized workers.”

The union also said the compensation for the 200 employees, who continued to work at the company without the benefits of a union contract, would be “on the order of tens of millions of dollars.”

The union also said CNN is required to restore any bargaining unit work that was outsourced since the end of the contracts. The company also must recognize the employees’ union and resume bargaining with NABET-CWA Local 11 and NABET-CWA Local 31.

“These workers have waited far too long for this measure of justice to finally be delivered and have suffered far too much as the result of these unlawful activities,” said NABET-CWA president Jim Joyce. “CNN should finally do the right thing now and immediately comply with the orders of the National Labor Relations Board issued today.”

The union noted that it had immediately filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB after CNN terminated the subcontracts. The case did not go to trial before an Administrative Law Judge at the NLRB for almost five years.

After 72 days of trial, the ALJ ruled in 2008 against CNN and found the network had engaged in “widespread and egregious misconduct” and had demonstrated “a flagrant and general disregard for the employees’ fundamental rights.” The ruling was appealed, leading to several more legal actions by the union.

The NLRB, an independent agency of the United States government, has  two key functions — conducting elections for labor union representation; and investigating allegations of unfair labor practices.

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  1. Craig Wood says:

    Liberals love unions but liberal CNN doesn’t have a union. So hypocritical!

  2. srvwp2013 says:

    Look to the top. Anywhere Zucker goes, tragedy follows. He is a one man wrecking machine. He brought down NBC in the wake of the years of Friends, Seinfeld, Fraiser, etc. It has taken until 2013/14 to get back to any kind of respectability. If any one man, such as an Osama Bin Laden, can topple anything, it is Zucker. This man is a living, breathing threat to employment.

  3. Greg Jones says:

    With big brother stepping in. Who needs unions anymore?

  4. Bert Cobb says:

    How’s that relationship with the leftist unions working out for you CNN? I thought you leftists loved the unions. But, since the unions own you and your ratings are in the tank you may have to go out of business. How sad….NOT.

  5. oldsarg says:

    Looks like Variety has sided with the wrong side based upon these postings. . . Hey Variety, you may want to reconsider siding with the left. . . if you want to stay in business. . .

  6. dochellfish says:

    I just love it when Liberals liberal Liberals.

  7. Kevin says:

    This is just too special for words…talk about the chickens coming home to roost…I bet Carol Costello is just sick over this.
    Libs eating libs…what could be finer??

  8. Paulytical says:

    Another nail in the coffin of a dying network…

  9. the3rdmanhearsall says:

    I have 20 of the worlds smallest violins played by 20 of the worlds smallest non union violinist playing Requiem for a Dead Network in CN minor .

  10. I'm Rick James says:

    Laughable. DNCNN has been forced to get fellow union proggies back after canning them. The liberal main stream media never fails to entertain, Democrat style.

  11. JamesD says:

    I can’t quite make out this story. You can use any subcontractor you want. If the subcontractor had a dispute with the halls, then that issue doesn’t involve CNN. If the ruling is that CNN is liable to the legal disputes of its subcontractors, that is totally wrong, and the courts will overturn it. Basically if CNN wasn’t happy with the service/price of the subcontractor, then it is the job of the subcontractor to sit down with the halls and work it out. If the halls can’t deliver, then the subcontractor would lose the business. It’s call negotiations, and that is how it is supposed to work.

    • Maxwell says:

      Well of course you’re right, this is just an Obama Administration ‘ruling’ not the law, once legally challenged it will be overturned by the courts, just like many other Obama Administration ‘rulings’ have.

  12. Chris says:

    Well, considering the Supreme Court ruled that Obama’s NLRB judges were illegally placed on the board, CNN should point that it to them and tell them to pound sand.

  13. Mark says:

    Lol a leftist progressive company union busting, busted by progressive government agency. Rofl.

  14. adrianvance says:

    Who says you cannot do anything without government? Chief Elizabeth Warren, that’s who. Remember that CNN as you fill out the Chapter 7 forms.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative.” We prove what we say.

  15. fulredy says:

    Non-union is the only way to go! Unions have long outlived any usefulness!

  16. Maxwell says:

    This is only an Obama Administration abuse of power, like many other such ‘rulings’ …it’s not going to hold-up in court.

    No business is subjected to appeasing the ‘contractor’s labor issues’ the contractor is selected and hired for their performance and affordability, and when that’s no longer the case the business has every right to find another contractor that meets ‘their’ demands, not the demands of the contractors employees.

  17. ted says:

    Love it; a liberal press being screwed by a liberal NLRB!

  18. Interesting. Obama’s appointees are putting further economic pressure on CNN that could bankrupt the news channel.

  19. tonyome says:

    Ask all the unionized coal miners that supported Obama what they think of him now.

  20. Liberals/CNN usually are the ones acting deviously, all the while blaming these kinds of things on Republicans. The Loudest voice is usually the one doing it themselves. Remember this People, next time you think about CNN. They are not your friend. They lost me 8 years ago when they decided to never have news about our Troops in Afghanistan. Traitors, the lot of them, at CNN. Thoroughly disgusted with their lying and manipulating facts to make others look bad.
    BTW I was born a Democrat. CNN and the Democrat Party left America and me a looong time ago.

  21. Russ says:

    If you don’t need the employees then you don’t need them. What is to bargain about? Do you have to bargain with the grocery store to leave without buying a bunch of things you don’t need?

  22. Jerry Stevens says:

    “phony reorganization scheme to get rid of unionized workers.”

    “Scheme” is a favorite administation word used to demonize opponents. Companies using the IRS code to reduce taxes are said to be using a “tax-dodging scheme”.

  23. takenobull says:

    Wow a left wing democrat union supporting propaganda machine ………. by the left wing government hahahahah

  24. An Individual says:

    Divine Justice! Propagating liberal talking points and ideology is fine until it is applied to you.

  25. Tom Nichol says:

    Lemme see, here. Progressive Democratic mouth piece, CNN, gets smack down from Progressive very union friendly (Democrat) NLRB. See justice!

  26. Duude says:

    I’m all for the NLRB putting CNN into bankruptcy court.

  27. if this was FOX you’d all be singing a different tune. hypocrites.

  28. Historyshowsus says:

    Wait, let me get this right:
    Liberal media source lays off union labor to save money by using in house non-union labor while running stories supporting Mcdonald’s minimum wage workers unionizing and extorting ludicrous wages from management.
    Reminds me of the MA congressional attempt to commandeer tax income from the universities massive tax free endowments that were making tens of millions of dollars just in interest each year. The MA legislature determined that the increase in revenue from a 2.5% tax on any endowment worth more that $1 billion would bring in $1,000,000,000 in revenue (yes that’s nine zeroes).
    In 2011 Harvard alone had over $32 BILLION in endowments and as an investment has made anywhere from 10 to 15 percent on that $32 billion.
    The ridiculously leftist administrators at Harvard, while spouting their economic envy mantra in the media, replied by saying..”But, but….that’s taxing success”.
    Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
    Just another giant hypocrisy from the left. Nothing to see here……for those of us with a clue.

  29. Hilarious Simply Hilarious

  30. Dear CNN, since you can’t get rid of your dead wood, you’re just going to have to cut somewhere else like maybe cutting back on your teams in the field that report real news…oh, too late for that? Well, there’s always selling off your controlling stock in Al Jazeera.

  31. tngilmer says:

    It is very funny to see a liberal news organization gored, possibly into bankruptcy, by the very liberal government they support.

  32. alnga says:

    Do any of the UNIONS have any ownership in Turner or CNN? If not then under what pretense do they have a say in how the company is run. Praise God they have a job and if they lose this one, go right back out there and sell your services to another company.. Stop this ridiculous complaining that a company needs to cut my job. If you are no longer needed you have a very good remedy.Go to a place that needs what you have..

  33. bobthemoron says:

    Ain’t Liberalism/Progressivism grand. Lib/Progs attacking Lib/Progs. I love it when they eating their own.

  34. Steve Thomas says:

    Yet one more example of liberal hypocrisy. If “progressives” were capable of cognitive dissonance, it would stop their hearts from its intensity.

  35. CNN?

    Isn’t that channel exhorts the wonders of the thing called obama.

    Had no idea they were still on.

  36. vidyaguy says:

    Not surprising, since the NLRB is only slightly less pro-union than the legendary John L. Lewis.

  37. Something like that... says:

    Ha! Ha!

    Too bad for the unions that this ‘relations’ board is filled with unConstitutionally appointed members.

    All CNN has to do, at least to protract the decision, is to challenge their authority based on those illegal appointees…

    …or has that been rectified? #amiright?

  38. Dr. Angus McDonnald says:

    Ignore the Ruling
    and Sue in Federal Court with the Constitution under your Arm.
    If it doesn’t work.
    Go to war in the name of the Constitution
    Put your banking overseas
    Make Jim Joyce afraid to leave his home and family alone.

  39. Proof that Capitalism and free markets do not exist.

  40. Mark B. says:

    I cannot (I guess I can) believe that Variety would describe the NLRB as “an independent agency of the United States government”. Independent, you’ve got to be kidding? The Obama has stacked it’s ranks with pro-union activists who do the Administration’s bidding. Give me a break.

  41. Shawn Romero says:

    Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely, if the re-instated union and the $$$penalties to be paid out to those 300 current and former CNN employees BANKRUPTS and CLOSES DOWN CNN… yes it would!

  42. winchester says:

    LOL… It’s a lot more fun when they are doing it to the other guy, right?

    The Liberal chickens are coming home to ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOST

  43. Steve Kane says:

    It could not happen to nicer people! It is a big “thanks” from the union thugs for all of the pro-Democrat, pro-Obama propaganda pushed by CNN and Ted Turner over the years. Flash! More good news! CNN ratings continue to plunge! Last phony “journalist” in the building, please turn out the lights.

  44. Salem Lowe says:

    Why do I have the suspicion that whatever expense this is going to cause will be paid for with tax dollars?

  45. gingerbread says:

    Well, let’s see, this corporation was the democratic party “BACK BENCHERS”, and all of a sudden, the same people they backed the democratic party to the hilt, have the same party bite them in the @$$.

  46. brick says:

    the NLRB along with every union ever should be destroyed, they’ve become the very thing they were designed to remediate it’s quite disgusting actually, they’ve entrenched themselves in the government and when last I looked if you want a job in this country it’s on you to apply and get it with your own work ethic, character, and credentials. it doesn’t matter anyway I hope CNN goes under and takes everyone their with it.

  47. sam Dennis says:

    NLRB is described as an independent agency of the US Government. That’s a canard. Every federal agency is dependent upon the government in many ways, including appointment of officials, operating budget, etc.

    Aabsent a true national security emergency there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to have the power to force private companies to hire or retain workers.

    This NLRB decision needs to be overturned by a ‘constitutional’ court of law.

  48. Eagle2319 says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. Liberals getting bit by liberals.

  49. JOHN VANCE says:

    I hope it costs you far more money than you have or can barrow. !!!!! I hate unions but in this case I’m on their side.

  50. Paul Lasky says:

    So the liberal “news” organization gets a taste of liberalism gone crazy. Sounds fair.

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