CPM employees take union request to labor relations board

By Andrew Lapin

Editorial employees at Chicago Public Media filed a petition to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board Oct 18 after earlier efforts to gain recognition from management were rebuffed.

Nearly 80 percent of the 54 employees who work at CPM as on-air talent, producers, web staff, reporters, editors and production assistants support the petition, according to a statement provided by the employees. The group initially notified interim CEO Alison Scholly of their request for union recognition Sept. 25. That request was rejected Oct. 1, according to the new petition.

The organizers turned to a neutral third party to make another bid for recognition Oct. 8, but that was also rejected, according to the employees’ statement.

The union organizers were delayed in following through with the NLRB during the federal government shutdown. But now that NLRB has accepted the petition, their request for union representation will be resolved through four possible scenarios: an election among CPM editorial staff, dismissal from the NLRB, voluntary recognition from CPM management or withdrawal of the request.

SAG-AFTRA seeks to represent members through its Chicago chapter. SAG-AFTRA is also organizing employees at San Diego’s KPBS, where managers recently discouraged staff from unionizing.

Vanessa Harris, CPM spokesperson, said management had received the updated petition Oct. 21.

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