UPDATED with SBS statement: The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board is seeking an order requiring the Spanish Broadcast System to bargain in good faith with SAG-AFTRA and to “make whole” eight employees who allegedly were fired because they “joined and/or assisted the union” in its efforts to organize the on-air broadcasters and DJs at La Raza and Mega, its Spanish-language radio stations in Los Angeles.
The latest development in the union’s yearlong battle to get a contract with the stations is outlined in an NLRB ruling (read it here) that consolidates the union’s complaint, which includes retaliation against broadcasters who tried to organize their fellow workers.
“SBS continues to deny these allegations as being false, baseless and inflammatory,” the company’s General Counsel Richard Lara said in response today. “No further comment at this time since the matter is in litigation.”
As part of the remedy, the NLRB is seeking an order requiring that the terminated employees be reinstated with back pay plus interest and any other consequential damages, including medical expenses. The NLRB also is seeking an order that would require the company to reimburse the union for its bargaining costs and expenses. A hearing on the charges has been set for Dec. 11.
“We are pleased by the National Labor Relations Board’s decision,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Today, the eight unlawfully terminated SBS employees have been vindicated. Employers who refuse to treat their staff with dignity and pay them lawfully mandated wages should be held accountable for their actions and SBS is no exception.”
Said SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White: “Today’s decision is a victory for the SBS employees who exercised their federally-protected right to unionize. For more than a year, SBS has been shirking its duty to its employees. They have refused to bargain in good faith and have been stifling negotiations. We are optimistic about December’s trial and look forward to negotiating a contract our Spanish-language on-and-off air talent deserve.”
SBS chairman Raúl Alarcón has called the union’s allegations “totally false and malicious” and said the company “will vigorously defend itself against these false claims to the fullest extent permitted by the law.”