OLD Media Moves

NLRB to file complaint against Reuters over reporter’s tweet

April 7, 2011

The National Labor Relations Board plans to file a complaint against Reuters for reprimanding one of its reporters after she tweeted a comment about its negotiations for a new union contract, reports Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times.

Greenhouse writes, “The board asserts that the company’s Reuters news division violated the reporter’s right to discuss working conditions when her supervisor reprimanded her for posting a message on the Twitter service that said, ‘One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members.’

“The author of the post, Deborah Zabarenko, the agency’s environmental reporter in Washington and the head of the Newspaper Guild at Reuters, sent that to a company Twitter address after a supervisor had invited employees to send postings about how to make Reuters the best place to work.

“‘The next day the bureau chief called me at home,’ Ms. Zabarenko said in an interview. ‘He told me that Reuters had a policy that we were not supposed to say something that would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomson Reuters. I felt kind of threatened. I thought it was some kind of intimidation.’

“A National Labor Relations Board official confirmed late Wednesday that the board’s Manhattan office had informed Thomson Reuters and the union of the planned complaint. The official, who insisted on anonymity because the complaint had not yet been filed, confirmed that it involved an accusation that the company had violated a worker’s federally protected right to engage in concerted, protected activity with co-workers to improve working conditions.”

Read more here.

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