PG Publishing Co., Inc. d/b/a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, (2023)

Date26 January 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
Cases 06–CA–248017
and 06–CA–263791
LOCAL 38061
Julie Stern, Esq.,
for the General Counsel.
Mark Hunt, Michael Oesterle, and Jennifer Sherman, Esqs.,
for the Respondent.
Joseph Pass, Esq.,
for the Charging Party.
GEOFFREY CARTER, Administrative Law Judge. The General Counsel alleges that PG
Publishing Co., Inc. d/b/a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Respondent) violated the National Labor
Relations Act (the Act) by:failing and refusing to bargain in good faith with the Newspaper
Guild of Pittsburgh/CWA Local 38061 (Union or Charging Party) since about March 11, 2019;
unilaterally implementing terms and conditions of employment on about July 27, 2020, when the
parties had not yet reached an overall good-faith impasse in negotiations for a successor
collective-bargaining agreement;and unlawfully surveilling employees in September and
October 2020, while they engaged in union activities, or creating the impression among
employees that their union activities were under surveillance. As explained below, I have found
that apart from a few limited exceptions, Respondent violated the Act as alleged.
This case was tried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 19–22 and October 12,
2022. The Union filed the unfair labor practice charges in this case on the following dates:
Case Filing Date Amendment Date(s)
06–CA–248017 September 11, 2019 April 7, 2021
06–CA–263791 July 29, 2020 March 9, 2021
06–CA–269346 November 20 , 2020 February 23, 2021,
June 22, 2021,
June 28, 2021, and
October 20, 2021
On April 27, 2022, the General Counsel issued a consolidated complaint in which it
alleged that Respondent violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the Act by failing and refusing to
bargain collectively and in good faith with the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining
representative of employees in the bargaining unit. Specifically, the General Counsel alleged
(a) by its overall conduct since about March 11, 2019, failed and refused to bargain in
good faith with the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the
bargaining unit;
(b) on about July 27, 2020, unilaterally implemented terms and conditions of employment
for employees in the bargaining unit without first bargaining with the Union to an overall
good-faith impasse for a successor collective-bargaining agreement, or alternatively (if it
is determined that the parties bargained to an overall good-faith impasse) implementing
terms and conditions of employment that were not reasonably comprehended by 15
Respondent’s pre-impasse proposals without affording the Union an opportunity to
(c) on about July 27, 2020, implementing a discretionary proposal concerning the
performance of bargaining unit work by non-Unit employees, and thereby retaining20
unilateral discretion over the performance of bargaining unit work by non-Unit
employees and undermining the status of the Union as the employees’ exclusive
collective-bargaining representative.
The General Counsel also alleged that Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by 25
interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed in
Section 7 of the Act. Specifically, the General Counsel alleged that Respondent engaged in
surveillance of employees who were engaged in union activities and/or created an impression
among its employees that their union activities were under surveillance by taking pictures and/or
video recordingson September 25, October 24 and 31, 2020. Respondent filed a timely answer 30
denying the alleged violations in the consolidated complaint.
On the entire record,1including my observation of the demeanor of the witnesses, and
after considering the briefs filed by the General Counsel, Charging Party, and Respondent, I
make the following35
1The transcripts and exhibits in this case generally are accurate. During my review of the record,
however, I identified transcript corrections that are warranted. In addition, both the General Counsel and
Respondent proposed corrections to the transcripts. For the most part, the parties did not oppose each
other’s suggested corrections. For disputed proposed corrections and a handful of unopposed proposed
corrections, I allowed the transcriptsto stand unless I could confirm the correction through my memory of
the testimony and/or other information in the evidentiary record. The transcript corrections that I have
identified, along with proposed corrections that I have accepted, are set forth in Appendix B to this
decision. I have denied any requests for transcript corrections that do not appear in Appendix B.
At all material times Respondent, a Pennsylvania corporation with an office and place of
business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been engagedin the business of publishing the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a print and electronic newspaper. Respondent annually derivedgross
revenues in excess of $200,000 and:held membership in and subscribed to various interstate
news services, including Associated Press; publishedvarious nationally syndicated features; and 10
advertisedvarious nationally sold products. During the same time period Respondent also
purchased and received products, goods, and materials at its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania facility
that were valued in excess of $5,000 and came directly from points outside the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania. Respondent admits, and I find, that Respondent has at all material times been
an employer engaged in commerce within the meaning of Section 2(2), (6), and (7) of the Act. 15
Respondent also admits, and I find, that the Union at all material times has been a labor
organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act.
A. Background
For several years, Respondent has recognized the Union as the exclusive collective-
bargaining representative of employees in the following appropriate bargaining unit:
All Editorial Department employees employed by Respondent at its facility currently
located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, excluding employees covered by other collective-
bargaining agreements, all publishers and associate publishers, Publisher and Editor-in-
Chief, Executive Editor, Editor of the Editorial Page, Managing Editor, Deputy
Managing Editor, Senior Assistant Managing Editor, Assistant Managing Editor, City 30
Editor, Sports Editor, Sunday Editor, Technology Systems Editor, Business Editor, Night
Operations Manager, Seen Editor, Associate Editor of Opinion Pages, Editorial
Cartoonist, Confidential Secretaries, professional employees, office clerical employees,
guards, and supervisors as defined in the Act.
(Jt. Exh. 1.) Consistent with that recognition, Respondent and the Union have executed
successive collective-bargaining agreements, the most recent of which was effective from
October 15, 2014, through March 31, 2017. (GC Exh. 2; see also Tr. 75–77.)
In contract negotiations between about 1992 and 2014, Respondent bargained with 40
representatives of several bargaining units3(collectively referred to as the “unity council”) about
2 Although I have included several citations in this decision to highlight particular testimony or
exhibits in the evidentiary record, I emphasize that my findings and conclusions are not based solely on
those specific citations, but rather are based on my review and consideration of the entire record for this
3 In addition to the bargaining unit represented by the Union, other bargaining units included:
Advertising; Circulation and Distribution; Electricians; Finance; Machinists; Mailers (two units);

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