SAG-AFTRA today announces that Region 31 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Los Angeles has officially issued a complaint against Spanish Broadcasting System
s (SBS) after finding merit to a myriad of egregious unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union against the media company. SBS owns two popular Los Angeles Spanish-language music stations, LA RAZA (KLAX 97.9 FM) and MEGA (KXOL 96.3 FM), whose talent providing on-air services voted by an overwhelming majority to unionize and join SAG-AFTRA in August 2016.
The consolidated complaint sets forth a litany of severe violations of the National Labor Relations Act that SBS committed, including: meaningless surface bargaining; a myriad of bad faith bargaining tactics; failing to furnish information relevant to bargaining; interrogating employees and threatening them with reprisals if they support unionization; interfering, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their legal rights; and unlawfully terminating eight employees in retaliation for their union activities and without providing SAG-AFTRA with notice and an opportunity to bargain.
As part of the remedy, the NLRB is seeking an order requiring that the terminated employees be reinstated with back pay, plus interest and any other consequential damages such as medical expenses. In addition, the NLRB is also seeking the extraordinary remedy that SBS reimburse the union its bargaining costs and expenses associated with SBS’s illegal bad faith bargaining. The trial date has been set for December 11.
“We are pleased by the National Labor Relations Board’s decision,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Today, the eight unlawfully terminated SBS employees have been vindicated. Employers who refuse to treat their staff with dignity and pay them lawfully mandated wages should be held accountable for their actions and SBS is no exception.”
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White said, “Today’s decision is a victory for the SBS employees who exercised their federally-protected right to unionize. For more than a year, SBS has been shirking its duty to its employees. They have refused to bargain in good faith and have been stifling negotiations. We are optimistic about December’s trial and look forward to negotiating a contract our Spanish-language on-and-off air talent deserve.”
LA RAZA (97.9) and MEGA (96.3) are the first Spanish-language radio stations to organize in Los Angeles and for nearly a year, SBS has failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union. SAG-AFTRA has received immense support from the community as well as elected officials in its fight against SBS including: Dolores Huerta, CHIRLA, the California Federation of Labor, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Los Angeles Councilmembers Paul Koretz and David Ryu as well as Supervisors Hilda Solis and Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be taking up a motion to support the courageous SBS workers, and to rebuke the gross injustices of Latino workers in the highly influential entertainment and broadcast industry.
To learn more about the union’s SBS campaign or to sign up for action alerts, please visit: www.sagaftra.org/sbsla