Washington Post Hit With Labor Complaint Over Social Media Policy (1)

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By Jacquie Lee

The Washington Post was hit with an unfair labor complaint by the federal labor board over its social media policy, adding fuel to an already smoldering fire as contentious negotiations continue between management and the paper’s union.

“We are grateful that the NLRB has seen the merit of our argument,” Fredrick Kunkle, a staff writer for the Washington Post and co-chair of its bargaining committee, wrote in a memo to guild members. Members of the Post’s union, the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, found out about the complaint Thursday night, Kunkle said.

“We believe the Post has an obligation to address our objections to a policy that is so overreaching that it invites abuse and infringes on our First Amendment rights,” he wrote.

The Washington Post didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the complaint, filed Feb. 28.

The newspaper updated its social media policy in May 2017 to prohibit conduct that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” The paper is owned by Jeff Bezos, the billionaire who founded Amazon.

The National Labor Relations Board complaint alleges management failed to negotiate with the union over its changes to the company’s social media policy. A hearing before an administrative law judge is scheduled for July 10. Management has until March 14 to answer the board’s complaint.

The Washington-Baltimore News Guild also represents employees at Bloomberg Law.

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