NLRB Lowers the Boom on Dish Network

     FORT WORTH (CN) — The National Labor Relations Board sued Dish Network on Monday, claiming it fired 17 Dallas-area employees, reduced pay and benefits and threatened to fire others if they talked about organizing a union.
     The Communications Workers of America, Local 6171 filed several unfair labor practice charges against Dish this year, the NLRB says in its federal lawsuit. It says the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite TV provider has “failed and refused to bargain collectively” about wages at its Farmers Branch and North Richland Hills outlets since January.
     A Dish field service manager told employees under the threat of firing “not to speak with trainees about the union and created the impression that their union activities were under surveillance,” the NLRB says.
     On April 23, Dish “unilaterally changed employees’ wages, significantly reducing their pay,” and “unilaterally changed employees’ healthcare plans, significantly increasing their deductibles,” the complaint states. These actions “caused the termination” of 17 employees, the NLRB says.
     It cites an April 6 text message from a North Richland Hills manager to an employee that begins, “The union is gone”.
     Dish declined to comment.
     The NLRB seeks an injunction stopping Dish from discriminating against employees for belonging to a union, coercing them, eliminating a quality performance compensation system in retaliation for union membership, stopping unilateral changes to health care benefits and stopping the implementation of a flat, hourly wage without merit increases.
     It also wants the wage and benefits system reinstated as it was before April 23, and Dish ordered to “offer interim reinstatement to constructively discharged employees” to the jobs, wages and benefits they had before April 23, “displacing, if necessary, any new or temporary workers.”

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