Fired reporters lose court effort

Reporters fired by the Santa Barbara News Press in alleged retaliation for union activity won't get their jobs back, at least for now, a federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled.

In a 33-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Steven V. Wilson said that 1st Amendment protections afforded to Wendy McCaw, publisher of the News Press, trumped claims that eight reporters were illegally fired for engaging in union activities.

The National Labor Relations Board, acting on behalf of the reporters, asked the federal judge to issue a temporary injunction ordering McCaw to reinstate the reporters and to refrain from taking other actions against unionized employees.

Though Wilson's decision means that the employees will not be immediately reinstated, it does not affect a larger case brought against McCaw by the legal division of the labor board.

-- Catherine Saillant

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