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Dailies still guilty

In another legal victory for locked-out newspaper workers, the National Labor Relations Board has refused to reconsider last year’s ruling that Detroit Newspapers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press illegally provoked a nearly 4-year-old labor dispute.

It does not mean, however, that workers will soon return to work. A spokesperson for Detroit Newspapers says the company will appeal.

Last week’s decision upholds the NLRB’s 1998 ruling that the strike by six unions against Detroit Newspapers was provoked by the company’s unfair labor practices.

"We obviously are pleased," says Shawn Ellis, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Council of Newspaper Unions. "What needs to happen now is the NLRB will need to seek enforcement of these orders."

In addition to ordering Detroit Newspapers and the two dailies to take back locked-out workers, the NLRB decision says the workers are entitled to all lost wages and benefits accumulated from the day they made an unconditional offer to return to work on Feb. 15, 1997. About 1,000 workers are still locked out and back wages total about $80 million, says Ellis.

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