Maybe you’ve seen the official-looking notices reading posted near the center elevators and a few other places around the building. Even if you have, chances are, you didn’t read them, figuring you’d better get into that elevator before it breaks down again, or discounting it as one of those routine messages businesses are required to post.
Well, the Chronicle was required to post the notice from the National Labor Relations Board, but it’s hardly routine (And we should be thankful for that). And it’s worth a read.
The notice is part of a settlement to a complaint brought by the Guild after one of our members was told by her supervisor that he couldn’t really work with her to improve her job performance because “You’ve been talking to the union.” She was fired soon after the conversation.
That sort of statement is illegal — so the Guild filed an unfair labor practice charge, and Chronicle management agreed to settle it, compensating the fired employee for dismissing her before following a proper process, and agreeing to post the notice.
In the notice, signed by Calvin Siemer, Chronicle vice president of legal affairs, management agrees that it will not:
-- Discourage employees from joining or being active in the Guild, or to penalize them for engaging in union activity, including seeking advice from the union.
-- Fire employees for union activity.
-- Interfere in any way with an employee’s right to join, form, seek representation from, or engage in protected union activity.
In other words, the Chronicle is recognizing that its employees are represented by the Guild, and that it cannot do anything to discourage that.
While the posting of a notice may seem like a small victory, it's an important one. It shows us all that the Guild, and sometimes even the National Labor Relations Board, has our backs.