Six Sacked Watertown Radio Station Employees Reinstated, Union Says | Jefferson County


WATERTOWN – The union representing six Watertown workers sacked three years ago by Stephens Media said on Friday that the broadcasting company had agreed to reinstate the jobs.

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America and its Local 51024 have been engaged in a legal battle since the six workers were fired in August 2018 by Stephens Media, owner of Classic Hits Z93 and Froggy 97 in Watertown.

Stephens Media had said contract negotiations with unionized workers stalled in 2018, prompting the union to claim the layoffs were in violation of national labor relations law. The case was brought before an administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board in Watertown in August 2019, with the judge ultimately ruling in favor of the union.

Stephens Media filed an objection to the administrative judge’s ruling, taking the case to the full NLRB in Washington, DC, which upheld the ruling.

According to the union, Stephens Media is now in the process of complying with the decision, which includes the reinstatement of the six workers from Watertown, as well as back wages. The union said the broadcast company was calculating back wages owed under the supervision of an NLRB compliance officer.

The union said in a statement that the six workers are “reviewing their options for returning to work” and have had 14 days to inform Stephens Media of their intentions.

NABET-CWA President Charlie Braico said in the union statement that the union “was still confident” that it would win in this case, praising local president Dianne D. Chase and the workers ” who remained strong throughout this ordeal ”.

“The union looks forward to seeing some or all of these loyal members return to their former positions,” said Mr. Braico.

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