Union files lawsuit against New York Public Radio

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© Andrew Popper 2018

The union representing content staffers at New York Public Radio filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that the public media organization violated its collective bargaining agreement.

The dispute centers on NYPR’s termination of Fred Mogul, a reporter at NYPR news station WNYC since 2002, in February. By filing the lawsuit, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists intends to force NYPR to arbitrate grievances related to Mogul’s termination, which the union said in the lawsuit was “wrongful” and “without cause.”

The union filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. 

Earlier this year, the union filed three grievances challenging Mogul’s termination, nonpayment of severance to Mogul and NYPR’s “failure to adhere to the contractual grievance procedure,” according to the lawsuit. 

The complaint said that after SAG-AFTRA filed one of the grievances in May, NYPR responded, “Since the issues you have raised are not subject to grievance or arbitration, we do not intend to participate in a grievance process.”

According to the lawsuit, after a grievance is filed NYPR and the union are required to meet within 10 days. But, the complaint said, “NYPR refused to schedule a meeting with SAG-AFTRA to discuss this grievance.” 

“NYPR’s pattern of behavior and waste of human and financial resources, especially after a painful layoff, is shocking and disappointing,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a press release.

An NYPR spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. 

In May, SAG-AFTRA filed an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board against NYPR in response to layoffs and the station’s “coordinated and aggressive campaign to undermine union and protected concerted activity,” according to the filing.

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