The federal labor board on Friday approved a roughly $76 million dollar offer by CNN to settle a long-running labor dispute with camera operators who accused the news organization of canceling their contract because they were unionized.
The National Labor Relations Board’s approval will finally resolve the 16-year-old labor dispute involving more than 200 camera operators in New York and Washington. The settlement figure is the “largest monetary remedy” in the board’s 85-year history, according to the NLRB.
“The settlement demonstrates the Board’s continued commitment to enforcing the law and ensuring employees who were treated unfairly obtain the monetary relief ordered by the Board,” NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb said in a prepared statement.
CNN in 2003 ended its relationship with subcontractor Team Video Services, which had provided technicians to operate the company’s electronic equipment for years. The news network said it wanted to start directly hiring an in-house group of operators and technicians. The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians filed a complaint alleging its real motivation was to avoid dealing with the employees’ union.
The labor board agreed with the union, finding that CNN was legally responsible as the workers’ “successor employers.” The case bounced between the board and a federal appeals court, slowing a final decision, before the sides started discussing a possible a settlement.
How soon before they are broke?
- CNN has been the only TV provider in U.S. airports for two decades
- Now an advertising network is partnering with entertainment shows to install more displays near boarding gates to give travelers options
- Comes as CNN’s ratings have been sliding all year