Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor lawyer: Guild election likely

Veteran Oakland labor lawyer Dan Siegel, whose firm defeated MediaNews in a wrongful termination case last year, tells the East Bay Express that he thinks the National Labor Relations Board will order a union election for workers of the newly combined ANG-Contra Costa Times news organization. On Aug. 13, MediaNews canceled the Guild's contract with the ANG newspapers (Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, Hayward Daily Review, Fremont Argus and Pleasanton Tri-Valley Herald). The move followed the company's decision to merge its Contra Costa Times newsroom (170 non-union jobs) with the ANG news operations (130 union jobs). If the NLRB orders an election, that will leave the question of representation up to newsroom staffers rather than management. "MediaNews cannot simply wave a magic wand and say, 'You're no longer union,'" said Siegel.

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