The National Labor Relations Board has thrown out the Guild’s complaint that MediaNews Group acted illegally when it fired Contra Costa Times reporter Sara Steffens two days after she was elected as union chair. She claimed that she was being let go in part for her union activities, but the company said she was dismissed for business reasons as part of a round of layoffs that cost 28 people their jobs. The NRLB also threw out a similar complaint about the terminations of Rebecca Rosen-Lum and Geoff Lepper.

The ruling, first reported Monday by the Contra Costa Times, was handed down Friday by Alan B. Reichard, the NLRB’s regional director in Oakland. His decision allows the Guild until Dec. 12 to seek a review by appealing to the NLRB’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Guild indicated on its Web site that it will appeal.

Here’s E&P’s report on the ruling, the CC Times story and the Guild’s Web site.

SF Press Club News


  1. Either the Guild doesn’t include copy editors or they are all busy… the initials of the National Labor Relations Board are NLRB, not NRLB!

  2. yes, proof is tough, but a NDA isn’t a barrier. they don’t apply when a witness is called for most type of legal proceedings including an NRLB administrative hearing …

  3. Proving that a layoff was motivated by anti-union sentiment isn’t easy, especially when a company requires its departing managers to sign non-disclosure forms.

  4. I wonder if the Guild blew this one. The ruling says that the union didn’t present enough evidence of a violation. It doesn’t say that a violation didn’t occur, just that the Guild didn’t make its case.

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