Friday, June 12, 2009

MSG Contract and the Away Feed IBEW Engineers

Letter To:

Mr. Donald C. Siegel
International Vice-President
Third District, IBEW
(412) 269-4963

12 June 2009

Dear Vice President Siegel,

The membership of IBEW Local 1212 needs your assistance regarding the upcoming MSG contract ratification vote.

We need the International to step in and help ensure that the freelancers working under the MSG agreement are given the right participate in the contract ratification vote.

I have been a member of IBEW Local 1212 since 1980, working as a freelance video engineer, robotic camera operator, tape operator/editor, A2, and utility until 1999, when I became a staff engineer at WPIX.

Freelancers in IBEW Local 1212 have always been considered an after thought, particularly the Away Feed sports crews. This group of highly skilled, dues paying, professionals deserve fair participation and proactive representation.

The Local 1212 By-Laws under Article V Business Manager Section 3 (c) say the following:

(c) Nothing in these bylaws shall be construed as granting the Business Manager authority to sign agreements or contracts between the Local Union and Employers unless such agreements or contracts have first been approved and ratified by the employees of the particular Employer involved.

Since Sideletter #1, Visiting Broadcasters’ Feeds, was ratified in 2006, all Away Feed technicians who have worked 1 game are now employees of Madison Square Garden Network and to further prove the point all were required to attend a company orientation and drug test if they had not previously done so.

They were all given a Madison Square Garden Photo ID and were paid W2 wages under the collective bargaining agreement between IBEW Local 1212 and Madison Square Garden Network.

Since the Away Feed technicians are “employees of the particular Employer involved”, all should get to participate in the approval and ratification of this contract before the Business Manager has the authority to sign the agreement according to IBEW Local 1212 By-Laws.

The tentative agreement is scheduled to be voted on by June 18, 2009.

If 75-100 Away Feed employees are not allowed to vote on the ratification of this contract the Business Manager would be in violation of the IBEW Local 1212 By-Laws if he continues to block these members from voting and then signs the contract.

Please step in and direct IBEW Local 1212 to allow ALL the members working under the MSG agreement to participate in the ratification vote.


Bob Daraio

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