Friday, September 14, 2007

Double Header Friday

A milestone was finally reached at the News-Press/NLRB hearing. At the noon recess yesterday, the government attorneys representing the NLRB rested their case. It was the Union's turn to go next and although they could have called witness they chose only to introduce some documents.

Following the lunch break, the News-Press began to put on its case. Although it didn't look much different from the case that has been going on for the past three weeks as they called first Scott Steepleton and then the paper's human resources director, Yolanda Apodaca as their initial two witnesses.

Each witness was asked to cover ground that had not been gone over when they were called earlier in the case by the NLRB attorneys.

Most of the examination of Apodaca centered around whether the paper had a policy of progressive discipline for employees. News-Press attorney Barry Cappello was evidently trying to establish that the abrupt firings of reporters Melinda Burns and Anna Davison with virtually no warnings was par for the course at the News-Press. The NLRB and the Union are trying to show that other employees were often disciplined or counseled about workplace issues such as productivity before the drastic step of termination was resorted to.

Today's session which begins at 9 am at the Bankruptcy Court Building will be the last before the proceedings go into recess for a week. They will resume on September 24 and be in session through the last week of September.

For a gavel-to-gavel account of Thursday's hearing, see Eric Lindberg's article in today's Daily Sound.

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And because you've been such a great audience this week, I thought I'd give you a little bonus by posting two columns this morning.

My Daily Sound Column from this past Wednesday on Barack Obama's appearance in Santa Barbara including the party at Oprah Winfrey's appears just below this post.

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