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Federal Agency Orders Local Newspaper To Rehire Reporters Fired In Labor Dispute

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2011 2:31pm

There’s a major new development in a long running labor controversy involving a local newspaper.

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered the Santa Barbara News Press to rehire eight reporters it fired.

The NLRB rejected arguments by the newspaper that it fired the reporters because they were trying to gain editorial control of the paper.  It also affirmed a number of earlier rulings against the newspaper, which said it improperly tried to interfere with legally protected rights to organize a union.

The board ordered the News-Press to offer reinstatement to the eight fired reporters, along with back pay, and to permit a reading of the ruling to all newspaper employees in the presence of management.

It’s been five years since the newspaper became embroiled in controversy, with some staffers claiming that owner Wendy McCaw was improperly trying to influence news content, and McCaw asserting that the employees were overstepping their bounds.

Within a year, many of the newspaper’s longtime news staff members quit, or were fired.

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