The National Labor Relations Board is looking into whether Thomson Reuters was acting illegally in reprimanding environmental reporter and Reuters’ Newspaper Guild head Deborah Zabarenko for a Tweet offering a critical suggestion for the company’s management. Specifically, the Board is seeking to determine whether the company was trampling Zabarenko’s right to free speech and to publicly discuss her management and working conditions.
Zabarenko had written that “One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members” after a supervisor at the company solicited employee feedback on, well, making Reuters’ “the best place to work.”
The New York Times details what happened next:
“The next day the bureau chief called me at home,” Ms. Zabarenko said in an interview. “He told me that Reuters had a policy that we were not supposed to say something that would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomson Reuters. I felt kind of threatened. I thought it was some kind of intimidation.”
The Newspaper Guild has been in embroiled in ongoing contract discussions with Thomson Reuters for over two years – even before its previous contract expired 26 months ago.
h/t New York Times
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