Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Union Says Washington Post Violated Reporter’s Speech Rights

September 21, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Washington—The Washington-Baltimore News Guild filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board Sept. 12, accusing the Washington Post of violating a reporter’s rights by disciplining him for a freelance article he wrote. The Post issued a formal warning Sept. 5 to staff writer Fredrick Kunkle, cochair of the paper’s Guild unit, saying he had committed a a “willful and intentional” violation of the paper’s rules by writing for a “competing publication without permission.” In an opinion piece published on the Huffington Post Sept. 1, Kunkle said that Post owner Jeff Bezos freezing pensions and trying to weaken seniority protections against layoffs amounted to “petty theft from the people who work for him.” The Guild contends he was exercising his legal right to engage in “concerted activities” under the National Labor Relations Act. “If you’re a Guild officer, and Freddy is, he has a legal right to publicize a dispute with management,” Guild newsroom representative Rick Ehrmann told the Huffington Post. “It doesn’t matter what the outlet is.” Read more

September 21, 2017

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