Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Los Angeles, CA
September 26, 2011
On Friday evening September 23rd, NABET-CWA and ABC, Inc. negotiators concluded a scheduled round of bargaining, following six days of meetings.
While both parties approached this round of bargaining with the shared goal of reaching a tentative agreement, a successor to the expired Master Agreement has not yet been agreed upon.
The Company remained focused on major elements of their previous packages while the Union offered alternatives and counter proposals in several critical and unresolved areas. The parties are still negotiating over open issues such as ENG/EFP digital camera usage, wages and pension.
At this point, the parties have not agreed to future bargaining dates but are communicating. We will keep you posted with the latest information and developments.

The Union Bargaining Committee reminds all members to ignore rumors. All official negotiation and mobilization information will be delivered on the Sector website (www.nabetcwa.org), on Local websites, hotlines, and e-mail lists.
NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee

NABET-CWA • 501 3rd Street NW • Washington, DC 20001 • 202-434-1100

Monday, September 26, 2011

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum Trashes Unions at GOP Debate

Republican Presidential candidate  Rick Santorum
During Thursday night's Republican presidential debate on Fox News, former Pennsylvania Senator and Republican Presidential candidate  Rick Santorum said:

"We've seen these battles on the state level where unions have bankrupted states from pension plans to here on the federal level. Thirty to 40%, union employees make above their private sector equivalents. I do not believe that state, federal or local workers should be involved in unions."

Broadcast Union News: Frankly, Mr. Santorum's comments show a lack of understanding of organized labor's role in the creation of America's middle class that pales only by his lack of respect for working people in general.

Santorum, a favorite of social conservatives, is a staunch opponent of abortion rights, stem-cell research, unions, and the social safety net. He believes that we are at war with "radical Islam" rather than in a fight with global terrorism. Santorum proudly boasts on his website that he is "one of the most conservative senators in Pennsylvania's history". He served in the U.S. Senate from 1995-2007, and was defeated for a third term by Democrat Bob Casey.

Below is information from an article from the CNN Truth Squad: How Much Do Unions Cost Taxpayers?

The Facts:

-- Overall, unionized workers do earn more than non-union counterparts, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median weekly earnings for full-time union members were $917 in 2010, compared to $717 for non-union workers, the BLS reported in January.

-- The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor federation, says union members make about 30% more than non-union workers. They also are more likely to be covered by health insurance and retirement plans, according to the BLS.

-- Public employees are far more likely to be in unions. Fewer than 7% of private-sector employees were union members in 2010, compared to 36% for government employees, according to the BLS.

-- A BLS report in June found private industry spent an average of $28.13 per hour on wages and benefits, compared to $40.40 for state and local government employees. But it noted that public and private-sector costs "should not be directly compared," as they involved many differences in the types of jobs. Many private-sector employees hold sales and manufacturing jobs not often seen in government, for example, while jobs like teachers make up a greater share of public payrolls.

-- While not quite "bankrupted," as Santorum put it, states, cities and counties are struggling with issues like pension costs as their own revenues have been hard-hit by the 2007-2009 recession and its ongoing hangover, according to the non-profit, non-partisan Center for State and Local Government Excellence, a Washington-based think tank that focuses on public employee pay.

-- While union workers make more in general than non-union workers, a new report from the center found that when total wages and benefits for public employees lag slightly behind private-sector workers, by about 4%. Public pensions and health benefits are more generous, but public employees are more likely to have college degrees and make less than comparable private-sector workers, the study found.

The Verdict:

 Overall, union workers earn more than non-unionized employees, and public employees earn more on average than private-sector workers. But analysts say an apples-to-apples comparison is difficult due to differing occupations, and that many  educated workers in the
public sector could make more in the private sector than in government jobs.

Broadcast Union News: (From www.aflcio.org) By bargaining collectively, union members are able to negotiate higher wages. Union members earn almost 28 percent more than nonunion members. The union wage benefit is greatest for people of color and women. Latino union workers earn almost 51 percent more than their nonunion counterparts. Union women earn almost 34 percent more than nonunion women. For African Americans, the union advantage is 31 percent. The union advantage for white male workers is almost 21 percent. For Asian American workers the union advantage is close to 1 percent. 

In states that have laws restricting workers' rights to form strong unions, the average pay for all workers is lower. So-called "right to work" for less laws that limit workers' rights to collectively bargain contracts (including wages and benefits) are a bad deal for all workers. In 2009, average pay in so-called "right to work" states was 11.1 percent lower than in states where workers have the freedom to form strong unions.
Union workers are more likely than their nonunion counterparts to be covered by health insurance, and to receive pension benefits and paid sick leave, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March 2010, 84 percent of union workers were covered by health insurance through their jobs, compared with only 55 percent of nonunion workers. 
According to Professor Harley Shaiken of the University of California-Berkeley,[1] unions are associated with higher productivity, lower employee turnover, improved workplace communication, and a better-trained workforce.

Prof. Shaiken is not alone. There is a substantial amount of academic literature on the following benefits of unions and unionization to employers and the economy:
  • Economic Growth
  • Productivity
  • Competitiveness
  • Product or service delivery and quality
  • Training
  • Turnover
  • Solvency of the firm
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Economic development
Economic Growth
During the period 1945-1973, when a high percentage of workers had unions, wages kept pace with rising productivity, prosperity was widely shared, and economic growth was strong. Since 1973, union density and collective bargaining have declined, causing real wages to stagnate despite rising productivity. This decline in union density and bargaining contributed to the current financial crisis and severe recession, as unsustainable asset appreciation and easy credit too the place of wage increases most workers were not getting [2]
According to a recent survey of 73 independent studies on unions and productivity: “The available evidence points to a positive and statistically significant association between unions and productivity in the U.S. manufacturing and education sectors, of around 10 and 7 percent, respectively.”[3]

Some scholars have found an even larger positive relationship between unions and productivity.  According to Brown and Medoff, “unionized establishments are about 22 percent more productive than those that are not.”[4] 
Product/ Service Delivery and Quality
According to Professors Michael Ash and Jean Ann Seago [5] heart attack recovery rates are higher in hospitals where nurses are unionized than in non-union hospitals.  According to Professor Paul Clark, nurse unions improve patient care by raising staff-to-patient ratios, limiting excessive overtime, and improving nurse training. [6]

Another study looked at the relationship between unionization and product quality in the auto industry.[7]  According to a summary of this study prepared by American Rights at Work:

“The author examines the system of co-management created through the General Motors-United Auto Workers partnership at the Saturn Corporation…The author credits the union with building a dense communications network throughout Saturn's management system. Compared to non-represented advisors, union advisors showed greater levels of lateral communication and coordination, which had a significant positive impact on quality performance.”


Several studies in have found a positive association between unionization and the amount and quality of workforce training.  Unionized establishments are more likely to offer formal training.[8]  This is especially true for small firms.  There are a number of reasons for this: less turnover among union workers, making the employer more likely to offer training; collective bargaining agreements that require employers to provide training; and finally, unions often conduct their own training.
Professor Shaiken also finds that unions reduce turnover.  He cites Freeman and Medoff’s finding that “about one fifth of the union productivity effect stemmed from lower worker turnover.  Unions improve communication channels giving workers the ability to improve their conditions short of ‘exiting.’”[9] 
Labor’s enemies assert that unions drive employers out of business, but academic research refutes this claim.  According to Professors Richard Freeman and Morris Kleiner, unionism has a statistically insignificant effect (meaning no effect) on firm solvency.[10]  Freeman and Kleiner conclude “unions do not, on average, drive firms or business lines out of business or produce high displacement rates for unionized workers.”
Workplace Health and Safety
Employers should be concerned about workplace health and safety as a matter of enlightened self-interest.  According to an American Rights at Work summary of a study by John E. Baugher and J. Timmons Roberts:

“Only one factor effectively moves workers who are in subordinate positions to actively cope with hazards: membership in an independent labor union.  These findings suggest that union growth could indirectly reduce job stress by giving workers the voice to cope effectively with job hazards.” [11]
The benefits of unions in terms of safer workplaces are hardly new. According to one most recent study, unions reduced fatalities in coal mining by an estimated 40 percent between 1897 and 1929. [12]
Economic Development
Unions also play a positive role in economic development. One good example is the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, “an association of 125 employers and unions dedicated to family-supporting jobs in a competitive business environment. WRTP members have stabilized manufacturing employment in the Milwaukee metro area, and contributed about 6,000 additional industrial jobs to it over the past five years. Among member firms, productivity is way up--exceeding productivity growth in nonmember firms.”[13]

[1] Harley Shaiken, The High Road to a Competitive Economy: A Labor Law Strategy, Center for American Progress, June 25, 2004, pp. 7-8. http://www.americanprogress.org/atf/cf/%7BE9245FE4-9A2B-43C7-A521-5D6FF2E06E03%7D/unionpaper.pdf
[2] Dean Baker, "The Recession and the Freedom to Organize," AFL-CIO Point of View, Feb. 2008
[3] Christos Doucouliagos and Patrice Laroche, “The Impact of U.S. Unions on Producivity: A Bootstrap Meta-analysis,” Proceedings of the Industrial Relations Research Association, 2004.  See also, by the same authors, “What Do Unions Do to Productivity: A Meta-analysis,” Industrial Relations, Volume 42 Issue 4 October 2003:
[4] Charles Brown and James L. Medoff, “Trade Unions in the Production Process.”  Journal of Political
Economy, vol. 86, no. 3 (June 1978): 355–378.
[5] Michael Ash and Jean Ann Seago, “The effect of registered nurses' unions on heart-attack mortality,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Apr. 2004), pp. 422-442.
[6] Paul Clark and Darlene Clark, "Collective Bargaining in American Hospitals: The Response of Nurse Unions to the Crisis in American Health Care, " LERA, Jan 2009.
[7] Saul A. Rubinstein, “The Impact of Co-Management on Quality Performance: The Case of the Saturn Corporation.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 53, No. 197 (January 2000).
[8] Harley J. Frazis, Diane E. Herz and Michael W. Horrigan, “Employer-Provided Training: Results from a New Survey.”  Monthly Labor Review (May 1995): 3–17.
[9] Harley Shaiken, cited earlier, quoting Richard Freeman and James Medoff, What Do Unions Do?  New York, Basic Books, 1984.
[10] Richard B. Freeman and Morris M. Kleiner, “Do Unions Make Enterprises Insolvent?”  Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 52, no. 4 (July 1999): 510–527.
[11] John E. Baugher and J. Timmons Roberts, “Workplace Hazards, Unions and Coping Styles.”  Labor
Studies Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer 2004).
[12] William M. Boal, "The Effect of Unionism on Accidents in US Coal Mining," 1897-1929, 'Industrial Relations,' Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan. 2009)
[13] Annette Bernhardt, Laura Dresser, and Joel Rogers, “Taking the High Road in Milwaukee: The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership.”  Working USA, Vol. 5, Issue 3 (January 31, 2002).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WPCLB, AFL-CIO Endorses Daraio and Quezada

The Westchester - Putnam Central Labor Body, AFL-CIO endorses Robert Daraio and Manuel Quezada for Village of Ossining Trustees! 

Daraio and Quezada are running on the Democratic, Independence, and Working Family Party lines.

For more information visit

Former WPIX Anchor Jackie Hyland Joins CBS Affiliate WRAL in Raleigh-Durham

By Merrill Knox
TV Spy

Jackie Hyland
Jackie Hyland who left New York City’s WPIX in March 2011, will debut September 27 as evening anchor on WRAL, the CBS-affiliate in Raleigh-Durham.

Hyland’s addition to the news team was announced by the station along with a handful of changes to the talent lineup. Hyland will be paired with longtime WRAL anchor Gerald Owens on the 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts; she will replace anchor Debra Morgan, who will take over the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts from Pam Saulsby.

Saulsby, who has been with the station since 1991, is leaving to pursue “other opportunities outside of the station,” according to the WRAL release. She will continue to co-anchor the noon newscast until later this fall, but her final evening newscasts will be later this week.

Also on the move at the station is 5:30 p.m. anchor Cullen Browder, who will shift to full-time reporter once Owens and Hyland take over in that timeslot. “Cullen is an award winning investigative journalist,” WRAL news director Rick Gall said. “We feel our viewers are best served by having him on the street full time exposing waste and wrongdoing.”

WRAL will also debut a renovated newsroom and new weather reporting technology, including a 3D storm tracking system, on the same day.