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CNN must pay record $76 million in backpay for union busting, agency says

A labor union representing a company that provided audio and video services to CNN nearly two decades ago says the cable network has agreed to pay $76 million to settle allegations it violated federal labor laws.

In a statement released last week, the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said the settlement will fund backpay to over 300 workers after several judges found the cable company engaged in union busting tactics when it terminated a contract with Team Video Services in 2003.

The NLRB said evidence showed CNN dropped the contract, then “hired new employees to perform the same work without recognizing or bargaining with the two unions that had represented the TVS employees.”

“CNN sought to operate as a nonunion workplace and conveyed to the workers that their prior employment with TVS and union affiliation disqualified them from employment,” the NLRB said in a press release.

NLRB said the settlement is the largest in the agency’s history.

The TVS employees were represented by the Communication Workers of America and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians.

CNN, a unit of AOL Time Warner at the time of the complaint, is now owned by WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).