Thursday, April 8, 2010

Solidarity Strong as NABET-CWA Marks One Year with No NBC Contract

Marking one year since their contract expired, 2,500 NABET-CWA members at NBC are getting support from viewers and pro-worker elected officials as they continue to fight the company's scheme to shift their work to non-union jobs.

In Burbank, Calif., members of Local 59053 are getting a great response to buttons and a mobile billboard with the "No Longer Proud as a Peacock" message. The local also ran a newspaper ad welcoming Jay Leno back to late-night TV and asking him to stand with union members.

"People tell us they don't like what NBC did to Jay and Conan," Local 59053 Secretary Louis Gabriele said. "They know the same management responsible for that fiasco is trying to hurt us, and they don't like it."

In Washington, D.C., members of Local 52031 are gathering every Sunday outside NBC studios while "Meet the Press" guests come and go. Recent guests DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) showed their support.

"Congressman Hoyer had security stop his car and he jumped out to greet us," said Local Vice President Rich McDermott, a member of the bargaining team. "He told us we have his support and that he was very pleased with our support for the health care bill. The Republican minority leader, Mr. Boehner, hid behind his tinted limo windows."

Members from Local 51011 in New York continue to mobilize, too, and many mornings have picketed outside the street-front Today Show windows.

In addition to NBC's assault on union jobs, talks are centered on seniority, wage and benefit issues. The latest round of bargaining took place in mid-March; the previous contract expired March 31, 2009.

In other CWA News:

TNG-CWA Forces Bankrupt Tribune to Abandon Bonus Scheme

TNG-CWA won a victory against corporate greed and mismanagement with its successful court challenge blocking $20 million in executive bonuses that bankrupt Tribune Company wanted to pay to some 23 executives.

Intervention by TNG-CWA Local 32035 before the bankruptcy court forced Tribune to withdraw the bonus plan. The local represents about 230 workers at the Baltimore Sun and was the only union on the nine-member creditors committee.

Before it filed for bankruptcy, Tribune cut hundreds of jobs at the union-represented Sun as well as at the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other operations. When the company sought to pay the executive bonuses, the union intervened.

Tribune withdrew its bonus plans, though the judge said the company could try again when it emerges from bankruptcy. TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said the Guild will be watching.

Reminder: CWA's First Annual Photography Contest

CWA's First Annual CWA Photography Contest is looking for quality photos and photographers, so turn your creative eye to CWA members on the job, on the picket line and in action, and submit what could be a winning photo.

Winning photographs will be displayed at the CWA convention and may be published in the CWA News as well as in local newsletters.

Be creative, be dramatic, be funny. Look for good candid pictures and interesting ways to take group or other posed shots. Digital or film photos will be accepted, but digital photos must be high resolution.

Read more for categories, rules and requirements, including how to make sure your photos will be high rez.

The deadline for submitting pictures is June 18, 2010. Questions? Please contact Janelle Hartman in the CWA Communications Department at Please put "CWA Photo Contest" in the subject line.

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