Labor Board Dismisses NBC Complaint

NLRB Denies NBC Universal Claim that WGAW Pressured Showrunners Not to Create Webisodes

The National Labor Relations Board dismissed a complaint brought against the Writers Guild of America West by NBC Universal regarding Internet content.

The complaint alleged that the WGAW pressured showrunners of NBC programs such as The Office and Heroes not to create “Webisodes,” while the WGAW insisted that it was simply asking its members not to pursue the work until new-media employment terms were agreed upon.

NBC U claimed that the guild had “illegally” instructed its members not to work on the Web productions.

NLRB judge Gregory Z. Meyerson ruled in February that unions “have a First Amendment right to communicate with their members” and failed to find evidence that the WGAW “restrained or coerced” the showrunners in any way. A three-member NLRB panel agreed with the judge and dismissed NBC’s complaint.

“We are pleased by the board’s decision, which reaffirms the Guild’s right to represent its members in the growing new-media marketplace,” WGAW executive director David Young said.

NBC did not have a comment at press time.