NLRB rules against Rhode Island PBS in union dispute

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A National Labor Relations Board panel ruled against Rhode Island PBS Monday in an unfair labor practice dispute with an employee union. 

The three-judge panel affirmed a judge’s 2018 decision that the station violated labor law by not recognizing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228 as the union representing the station’s technicians and engineers and by failing to negotiate with the union. 

The NLRB panel ordered Rhode Island PBS to negotiate with the union and discontinue “coercively interrogating employees about their union sympathies, including whether they want” IBEW Local 1228 to continue as their union representative.  

The ruling also orders station management to provide the union with relevant documents it has requested for bargaining.

Additionally, the judges ordered management to rescind wage increases it gave unilaterally to two union employees without negotiating with the union.

“We respectfully disagree with their Decision and have 30-days to file an appeal,” said RIPBS CEO David Piccerelli in a statement. “Accordingly we are reviewing our legal options.”

IBEW Local 1228 filed its unfair labor practice complaint with the NLRB in August 2017 claiming that the station had not bargained in good faith.

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