Feds Find Merit in SAG-AFTRA Complaint About Spanish Broadcasting System Firings

Gabrielle Carteris
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

The National Labor Relations Board will move forward with a formal complaint on unfair labor practice charges filed by SAG-AFTRA against Spanish Broadcasting System for firing seven employees in retaliation for union activities.

The firings took place in March at two Los Angeles Spanish-language music stations, La Raza (KLAX/KXOL 97.9 FM) and Mega (96.3 FM). The employees had voted in August 2016, to join the union.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “The National Labor Relations Board’s findings underscore what we have been saying all along: For nearly a year, SBS has failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages. SBS’ blatant disregard for workers’ rights cannot and will not be tolerated. I want to thank all of the SAG-AFTRA members who stepped up and spoke up. Their passion for justice and their voices are an important part in this fight.”

SAG-AFTRA has accused SBS of failing to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refusing to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages. “SBS unlawfully fired seven of its unionized employees (25% of the workforce) in retaliation for their union activities, in an effort to decimate the Union; and unlawfully failed to give SAG-AFTRA an opportunity to bargain about the terminations,” the union said Wednesday.

The union said it has requested that the NLRB expeditiously issue a complaint, set a quick trial date, and go into federal district court to obtain an injunction to get the terminated employees back to work immediately.

SBS was defiant in its response on Wednesday. Chairman Raúl Alarcón Jr. said that the company will “vigorously defend itself against these false claims to the fullest extent permitted by the law.”

Alarcon also added, “I find it ironic that, at this critical juncture when Latino culture and its institutions are under relentless attack, the union has singled out for criticism the one truly national Hispanic media organization with an unblemished historical record of service to our community.”

SBS general counsel Richard D. Lara said, “It is unfortunate that SAG-AFTRA once again is resorting to blatant and transparent attempts at intimidating our company into accepting unfair contract demands. SBS has provided witness testimony and thousands of documents to the NLRB directly contradicting the outlandish SAG-AFTRA allegations concerning a handful of employees at our two L.A.-based radio stations, and we fully expect to prevail against these spurious claims.”

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