Fox TV stations settle NLRB fees, NY and DC broadcast workers still demand a better deal
New York, NY- In recent days, Fox Television Stations, which owns local news stations such as Fox 5 New York (WNYW), My 9 New Jersey (WWOR), Fox 5 DC (WWTG) and Fox 5 Plus (WDCA), settled accusations of unfair labor practices. regarding the company’s failure to provide information in connection with a grievance filed by Local Union 794 (WNYW-WWOR) of the Television Studio Employees Union (IATSE).
Local 794 was seeking information in connection with a formal challenge to the company’s reclassification of an executive employee so he could perform bargaining unit work, a possible breach of contract between the two parties .
It comes as IATSE Locals 794 and 819 continue their decade-long struggle to negotiate a succession deal for broadcast workers who bring local Fox News coverage to New York and Washington DC respectively.
After the NLRB filed a complaint and shortly before a hearing, as part of the settlement approved by the NLRB, Fox television stations were forced to turn over relevant information originally requested by Local 794 on November 12, 2020 and the May 6, 2021. Additionally, Fox TV stations were forced to release this opinion at the WNYW studio in New York and email it to every employee who works there.
In that notice mandated by the settlement, Fox Television Stations explicitly stated, “WE WILL NOT REFUSE to collectively bargain with the union by unreasonably delaying in responding to requests for information relevant and necessary to the union’s performance. of his duties as a collective bargaining representative of our employees.
However, the last time Locals 794 and 819 met with Fox Television Stations management for formal contract negotiations on December 7and 2021, the unions have filed a request for information for basic due diligence to understand the economics of the Company’s proposal which the Company has described as “fair” and “generous”. In order for the bargaining committee and union members to fairly assess the potential economic impact of the company’s proposal on employment conditions, unions need this information, but the company will not back it up with numbers. . The management of Fox Television Stations formally refused to produce this information after two requests, the most recent on January 27.andjust days after the settlement agreement was signed on January 24and.
On this, Nick Kroudis, Business Officer for IATSE Local 794, said:Fox Broadcast workers are rightly worried about the impact of the proposed deal on their jobs. Even if the company claims that the law does not require the sharing of this information, which the unions dispute, repeatedly refusing to provide financial analysis around a proposal you have made does unnecessary damage to the relationship. company with its workers and their union. This is not how productive working relationships are supposed to work.”
IATSE Local 819 Sales Representative Robert A. Richardson said,The workers know that more negotiations are needed. Fox’s proposal does nothing to address workers’ concerns that the company is trying to make its workforce more available, and its package appears designed to erode those workers’ longstanding protections and bargaining power. union collective. If Fox bosses can’t or won’t produce information that the company’s deal is worth taking, why should the workers accept this agreement?”
Negotiations for a successor deal have been ongoing for over a decade now, starting in September 2011. When the last contract between unions and Fox TV stations was negotiated during the 2008 financial crisis, workers understood the need to make temporary sacrifices in the hope these sacrifices would be honored in future negotiations. Fourteen years later, the current bosses of Fox TV stations refuse to even acknowledge those sacrifices and the ongoing sacrifices of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice protests and the 2020 election, including January 6 coverand uprising at the capitol
As of this writing, union representatives are still eager to get back to the bargaining table and have offered several dates for March, although none have been officially confirmed by the Company. The Bargaining Committee will continue with its resolve to obtain the best possible contract for the broadcast workers of Locals 794 and 819 and will continue to use all legal tactics necessary to achieve this.