Judi Chartier named NABET-CWA General Counsel

NABET-CWA Sector President Charlie Braico announced that Sector Legal Counsel Judiann “Judi” Chartier was promoted to the position of NABET-CWA General Counsel on January 11. Chartier has worked with NABET-CWA since being hired at CWA as a Staff Attorney in 2011.

            “In her service to the Sector and to CWA, she has demonstrated herself to be a skillful attorney, a diligent litigator and a labor activist – fully committed to our Sector, its Locals, CWA and the labor movement as a whole,” said Braico. “Her meticulous work on scores of cases has been nothing short of impressive.”

            Chartier replaces long-time Sector General Counsel Steve Sturm, who retired on December 31 after more than 46 years with the Union.

            Prior to joining the Sector office, Chartier served for four years as outside counsel to the Sector and NABET-CWA Local 41 in Chicago while working for the law firm of Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson and Bareck, where she assisted with a mix of general labor and employment law, including collective bargaining, arbitration preparation and litigation, as well as NLRB filings and related litigation.

            Chartier worked with Local 41 President Emeritus Ray Taylor on the NBCU “Content Producer” case. In 2009, NABET-CWA filed several unfair labor practice charges and a unit clarification petition with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that NBCU’s Content Producers were performing NABET-CWA-represented functions and that the Union’s Master Agreement with NBCU should cover all such workers. Under Chartier’s counsel, NABET-CWA prevailed on its unit clarification petition, and the Board granted summary judgment against NBC on a significant ULP Complaint.

            “Of all the people you’d want to go through this rather protracted period of time, it’s Judi,” Taylor said. “She really understands the law and our contractual relationship with companies. Judi is a very capable, talented and dedicated attorney.”

            Chartier’s other prior legal experience includes serving as Assistant General Counsel to UNITE-HERE, as well as working at law firms representing private and public sector workers in New Jersey. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Chartier grew up in New Jersey and attended law school at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

            Inspired by her mother, who was a union-represented cafeteria worker in a New Jersey public school, Chartier said she knew early on that she wanted to work in the labor movement. After graduating from law school, Chartier first worked as an organizer through the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute, where she was a member of one of its first graduating classes in 1991.

            “Being an organizer made me a better union lawyer,” Chartier explained. “The more interaction we have with members, the better we understand what needs to be done and how we can help.”

            Before her promotion to General Counsel, Chartier split her time between NABET-CWA and CWA, where she worked on airline employee issues and campaigns. As NABET-CWA General Counsel, she will perform more work for the Sector, including helping with training, education and advising the Sector Executive Council. Her office will remain in CWA’s Legal Department, where she expressed appreciation for their camaraderie and support.

            Large or small, Chartier said she likes to think that each case she has worked on had an impact on the Union. Much of her work at NABET-CWA today is ensuring that the Union’s jurisdiction – constantly under technological attack – is maintained and members’ work is not lost due to other circumstances.

            Chartier currently is assisting NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi with a large organizing campaign at the National Captioning Institute, which fired three employees who supported the Union. The NLRB recently told Chartier that it found merit in NABET-CWA’s charges against the company and has indicated that it would issue complaints for their wrongful terminations.

            “Organizing is very important for our Union,” Chartier said. “We need to be looking outside to see who we can bring into the NABET-CWA family because the larger we are, the stronger we are, and the better we are for our members.”

            Chartier said she has NABET-CWA to thank for more than her job; she met her husband, former Local 44 President Daniel Tackett, who was employed at WCPO in Cincinnati, when she attended her first Regional Advisory Board meeting. “Thanks to this Union, I got a great job and a husband,” Chartier said.