NBC union blasts back-to-office order, demands reinstatement of terminated remote employees

Seemingly fit to forever reject the idea of normalcy, NBC News Digital’s union fired a volley against NBC News Digital on Wednesday over the outlet’s return-to-work policy and the supposed purging of remote employees who refuse to come back to an office setting.

Signatories of the open letter posted to Twitter accused NBC of mounting “a pressure campaign – coercing employees to adhere to a plan that has not been negotiated – while refusing to answer basic questions about the plan, creating unnecessary confusion and anxiety.”

Today we delivered this letter to @NBCNews management (signed by 210 unit members) demanding a better RTO plan and the immediate reinstatement of several remote colleagues who have been baselessly terminated.”

“NBC announced at least one team would be required to return for five days a week, and their manager alone would determine whether more flexibility could be allowed in the future.”

In the letter, the concerned parties claim “NBC has consistently ignored an obligation to notify and bargain with our union before policy changes can be implemented.”

“Two years ago, management at @NBCNews broke the law and unilaterally reduced our union members’ salaries without bargaining. Last week — after 24 months of unnecessary company delay and two failed appeals — they finally admitted it.

The union also claims their employer insists on “a one-size-fits-all approach to our newsroom,” and they caution that “the company plan will increase exposure rates, upend sensitive family schedules, drive current employees from this newsroom, and make it harder to attract the kind of talent we deserve.”

“Management would rather lose good workers who happen to live in another city than embrace the reality of a hybrid workplace or live up to their own repeated commitments to address concerns,” the guild members argued.

They went on to say, “Our members are organized — we’re ready to fight to protect our coworkers and win a RTO policy that actually makes sense. @NBCNews has shown no interest in negotiating a serious deal. The company is pushing an unsafe and inflexible return, but our newsroom deserves better.”

They implored NBC to “reinstate the current voluntary nature of the return, and commit to negotiating a plan that works for News Digital.”

A spokesperson for NBC dismissed the accusations as false.

“We remain committed to a flexible and hybrid workplace,” said the spokesperson. “There is not, and has never been, a five-day return-to-office mandate.”

“As a matter of policy, NBC News does not comment on the employment status of current or former employees,” said the spokesperson. “However, no NBC News Guild employee has faced any form of termination because of their geographic location. We are in active discussions with the Guild over a safe and flexible return-to-office policy.”

Many on social media simply weren’t having it:

— Steve ThePirate (@LakeWAlife) September 7, 2022


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