NBC loses fight to misclassify workers

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board restored wages, benefits, and the right of union membership to 100 writers, photographers, and editors at NBC.

The NLRB on September 26 upheld a ruling two years ago by the NLRB’s Region 2 office in New York City. The Region 2 office found that NBC had erred when it misclassified the workers.

Five years ago, NBC told the workers that it was consolidating their work and creating new non-union jobs–content producers.

But the workers continued to do the same work for lower pay and fewer benefits.

CWA-NABET, the workers’ union, responded by initiating a case with the NLRB.

“The NLRB decision means that NBC workers and their families finally are getting justice,” said Jim Joyce, president of CWA-NABET. “NBC must restore the wages, benefits and bargaining rights that these workers lost. It’s a great day for fairness.”

The labor board’s ruling also applies to workers hired after the company imposed the new job classifications.

Joyce also noted how important it is to have a fully functioning NLRB.

“The NLRB is now back to issuing important decisions and giving workers a path to justice,” said Joyce.

Republicans in the US Senate at the behest of US Chamber of Commerce had been holding up President Obama’s appointments to the NLRB, effectively crippling its ability to enforce labor law.

A coalition led by CWA and the Democracy Initiative successfully broke the Republican filibuster that kept the Senate from voting on the appointees.

“This (decision) shows the value of having a fully functioning, five-member NLRB. CWA and our coalition partners made that possible,” said Larry Cohen, CWA president.

Those affected by the NLRB ruling are content providers at NBC and NBC owned stations in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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