Alleged News-Press Threats Incur Charge of Unfair Labor Practices

A News-Press%20101%20Protest2.jpgcharge of unfair labor practices was
filed today with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today in
response to alleged threats made by Santa Barbara
lawyer and de facto spokesperson Barry Cappello to
remaining News-Press employees. The filing claims that
Cappello’s statements to other newspapers about the legality of
protests against the paper — in particular the “banner incident” of
Friday, February 3, which ultimately resulted in the termination of
six News-Press employees — are unlawful and aim to
dissuade future protests. Although former employees and union
supporters have stated that the protest banner was not illegal,
Cappello has stated in interviews — including one published in this
week’s Independent — that the News-Press staffers
overstepped the boundaries of legality by encouraging people to
cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and, thus, causing financial
damage to their employer. (Click
to open a PDF file of the charge.)

Whether the banner protest constituted an illegal activity,
however, remains a matter of debate until NLRB makes a ruling on
the matter.

Officially, this charge was filed by the Graphic Communications
Conference, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that is
affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

As of this afternoon, reports indicate that News-Press
employees protesting their former employer have employed a marching
band in their effort to disrupt the work activities of those still
allowed inside the building.


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