Via America’s Lawyer: MSNBC employees recently joined a union, and their bosses aren’t happy about it. The network recently held a town hall with their employees where they tried to break up the union using all the old familiar talking points. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The big bosses at corporate media giant MSNBC are trying to break up a newly formed union, further proof that the network isn’t as left-leaning as viewers want to believe. Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer magazine joins me now to talk about this. You know, to me, there’s no surprise.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I looked at this story and it’s all the talking points that we see with all union busters. They may not look like union busters today, but I can promise you this they’ve hired union busters, haven’t they?

Farron Cousins:                  Oh, absolutely. And, you know, and MSNBC of course is owned by Comcast massive, you know, mega corporation and so the bosses at MSNBC have to do what the corporate leaders are wanting them to do. So you have these employees who back in June joined the Writers Guild of America East. Then the big bosses say, well, now hold up before we recognize this, we want to submit it to the national labor relations board. So now you’ve got, until I think August 17th, they’re going to be doing meetings. They’re going to be holding talks, basically trying to kill the union. And what we know thanks to leaked audio is that they’ve already had one town hall where all the big bosses, including the CEO, Rashida Jones, came out and said, guys, why are you doing this we’re family here?

Mike Papantonio:             Well, it’s the same talking point that you always see, we’re family. Why bring in these people to complicate things? It’s going to cost you money. It’s going to run employees away. It’s not fair to those people who don’t want to pay dues. But the most important move is labor board. Statistically, if they can get it to the labor board, they have time to regroup, don’t they?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             They have time to put all of the flying monkeys together and, and really do harm to this effort to, and all these folks want, they want higher pay. They want equity. They want diversity. They want what any worker should want, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, exactly and this is a lot kind of like what we saw in Alabama with Amazon, which by the way, that’s actually going up for review. They may have another vote on that one. So we got to stay tuned to that. But anyway, Amazon came into Alabama spends thousands of dollars every day on these union busting law firms using the exact same tactics that MSNBC is using right here, you know, oh, we got to shift it to the NLRB. They’ve got to handle this. And again, it did give them time to strategize to get their lawyers out there to kind of start pressuring people to not join the union and that is exactly what’s happening at MSNBC.

Mike Papantonio:             The, the worst thing about it is this, every time the, every time you have MSNBC in a fight, it’s almost like we’re the left Progressive’s. You can count on us to be different. As a matter of fact, you’ll see MSNBC go to attack maybe Boeing, if they’re trying to put a union together, but now it’s come home and what they’ve done and, and here’s, if I were an employee right now, I’d ask this simple question. Have you hired a PR group that’s going to work with the labor board to destroy our union? You know, these folks don’t even know they’ve done this and it didn’t come up at the town hall meeting. They’ve already hired these folks.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And another thing that came up at the town hall, in addition to the, you know, the family talking points is this, the, the, the executives were trying to make it sound like, listen, I’ve always been approachable. I’ve always had an open door policy. If you’ve got a problem, you can come and talk to me. You don’t need this union. You know, we’re, we’re, we were going to give you these things that you’re wanting anyway. It’s total BS. If they were going to do these things, they would have done them.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, more important. The real, the real tell tale is this. They said to MSNBC, would you please voluntarily recognize us as union?

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And anybody can do that. Yeah, we could, if they were serious about this. But look, this is run, the leadership is no different from that little freak that used to run, was Phil Griffin. It’s all about money. They used to kill story after story that I tried to do when I appeared on MSNBC, because advertisers wouldn’t let them tell the story. It is so upside down. But nevertheless, you have viewers saying, wow, these people think just like me. They don’t.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.