Finds Santa Barbara’s Daily Paper Was Bargaining in Bad Faith
By Barney Brantingham
In its second decision against the Santa Barbara News-Press in a year, the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday affirmed a judge’s finding that the paper was bargaining in bad faith. The newsroom union has been in fruitless contract negotiations with management since 2007.
There was no immediate response from the paper, but it is expected that owner Wendy McCaw will appeal to a federal court, as she did in August 2011, when the NLRB ordered her to reinstate eight reporters illegally fired for protected union activities. The case is being closely watched in the newspaper industry due to possible effects on labor relations.
Thursday’s decision, affirming a May 2010 determination by Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson, also ordered the reinstatement of columnist Richard Mineards, now a columnist for the Montecito Journal, along with back pay and benefits since 2009. The paper was also ordered to reinstate employee Dennis Moran, member of the bargaining committee, who was terminated by newsroom manager Scott Steepleton on what Ira Gottlieb, Teamsters’ attorney representing the newsroom, called “trumped-up charges.”
In Thursday’s decision, the NLRB also found that the newspaper violated federal labor law on a number of other counts, including encouraging employees to not cooperate with NLRB investigations.