Media Moves

NLRB files complaint against Dow Jones

September 23, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Dow Jones alleging that our employer has violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to negotiate in good faith over the working conditions of IAPE-represented employees following the onset of the pandemic.

This action comes after the union, which represents journalists at The Wall Street Journal, and Barron’s, brought a complaint to the NLRB in February.

A Dow Jones spokesman said, “We disagree with the allegations in the NLRB complaint. We fully met our bargaining obligations with IAPE regarding matters related to the COVID pandemic and will continue to do so going forward. We have offered extensive benefits to our staff in recognition of the hard work and hardships they faced during this difficult period.”

Labor Board investigators told both sides in August they agreed that Dow Jones could not unilaterally set these conditions and must bargain over terms and conditions of employment not covered by the IAPE/Dow Jones contract.

The board offered Dow Jones a settlement, one which would have allowed the company to not even admit any fault — it only had to publicly post a notice stating it would comply with federal labor law in the future, and would bargain with IAPE as required by law.

Under board standards, because Dow Jones routinely communicates with IAPE-represented employees electronically, this notice had to be distributed electronically to the IAPE-covered workforce as well. Dow Jones refused.

Company representatives refused to post a notice anywhere other than on physical bulletin boards in the office — where no one was working at the time and even now has very few people. The first week of Phase Two voluntary return saw fewer than 100 people in the New York office at any one time, out of 1,600 employees.

A hearing date has been set for Dec. 7. Prior to that hearing, Dow Jones is required to deliver a response to the NLRB complaint by Oct. 6.

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