Mountain Xpress has resolved a labor dispute with the National Labor Relations Board. After the Communications Workers of America filed charges during the last six months, the NLRB had brought several unfair labor practice complaints against the paper.
The complaints, which were resolved last week, involved the separation of employment of Max Cooper and David Forbes, an alleged statement by Xpress and three provisions of the company’s handbook, which the NLRB claimed to be unduly restrictive of employee rights.
The charge regarding David Forbes’ termination was dismissed by the NLRB after a full investigation in which it found insufficient evidence to conclude that Forbes was terminated because of his union or other protected activities. Xpress terminated Forbes in April for taking copyrighted material belonging to Xpress and self-publishing it without authorization, and for publishing disloyal and damaging comments about Xpress, the publisher and the managing editor while employed by Xpress.
To resolve issues surrounding Cooper’s separation from Xpress, the paper entered into a confidential monetary settlement with Cooper and the union in which none of parties admitted to any wrongdoing and the union agreed to withdraw its charges.
Xpress resolved the other allegations regarding its handbook and an alleged unlawful statement by agreeing to modify provisions in its handbook and disseminating an official notice to its employees detailing their rights under federal law and the company’s commitment to those rights.
“Affirming and clarifying worker rights is good policy,” Mountain Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes said.
Fobes said he was pleased with the resolution, noting the settlements are in the best interest of everyone. He said the settlements have resolved the disputes without expensive and lengthy court battles. “The agreements offer a respectful outcome for everyone,” Fobes said.
“This settlement allows all parties to avoid the disruptive effects of a lengthy judicial process,” Fobes added. “We can now concentrate on our journalistic tasks.”