In June 2015, RID, under advice of legal counsel, denied a request from the Pacific Media Workers Guild-CWA (PMWG-CWA) to exhibit at the 2015 RID National Conference and to become organizational members of the association.
On October 5, 2015, PMWG-CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge against RID with Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That filing initiated an investigation to which RID has been asked to respond.
One of our attorneys with extensive experience in unions is undertaking the response. Given we are not the “employers” of our members, our attorney anticipates that the investigation will be brought to conclusion shortly.
Unions have the protection of the “labor law exemption” to antitrust laws and, therefore, union members, who would otherwise be viewed as competitors, may engage in concerted activities through their bargaining unit without raising concerns about antitrust violations. However, RID and groups acting within its organizational structure are not unions and do not have the benefit of such an exemption. As such, RID and PMWG-CWA have very different obligations to comply with federal antitrust laws and cannot be compared.
We appreciate that our obligations to comply with federal antitrust laws may be frustrating to individual members who support and may want to use their networks within RID to discuss the merits of unionization, or to members who want to learn more about unionization. It is not RID’s intention to cause frustration. It is, however, RID’s intention based on numerous revisits of this topic with several attorneys over several years to adhere to our obligations under the law. To do otherwise puts our membership and the association at risk. Such activity is not permissible within RID’s space and/or forums.
In a 2010 motion that was unanimously approved by the RID Board of Directors, the foundation for an antitrust policy to protect the association was laid. The minutes from that meeting, including the text of the motion and the vote, are available on the RID website at: http://www.rid.org/2010boardminutes/
RID’s Antitrust policy, FAQs, and an ASL version of the policy are posted at: http://www.rid.org/antitrustpolicy/
The principles set forth in this policy are in place to protect the association so that we may continue to work toward our mission.