I've learned that one of the signers of the petition to decertify the Union at the Santa Barbara News-Press was sportswriter Gerry Fall. Fall has probably one of the most recognizable names among News-Press employees as he was a long-time sports anchor on KEYT (and before that KCOY) before joining the News-Press. Fall's name appears on the caption of some of the paperwork regarding the petition as being one of the lead petitioners.
Yesterday, however, the National Labor Relations Board blocked the processing of the decertification petition filed May 3 by Fall and at least seven other News-Press employees, because of the pendency of some 25 unfair labor practices, all of which carry findings by Administrative Law Judges that the News-Press has violated federal labor law.
Fall left KEYT in October of 2009 after 14 1/2 years there. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited to write for Wendy McCaw's paper by News-Press director of news operations Don Katich who had known Fall when they both worked at KEYT. Fall quietly begin writing for the News-Press and much of his early work there was unattributed.
The identities of the other signers of the decertification petition is unknown as the NLRB generally does not divulge that information but one could speculate that with many of the more recent newsroom hires having previously worked at the conservative Young America's Foundation it probably wasn't hard to get the signatures of the required 30 percent of the approximately 26 employees who are in the newsroom bargaining unit.
In any event, the whole decertification process is on hold for an indefinite period of time.
© 2011 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com