NBC, b’cast unions start contract talks

Negotiations got under way this week on a new contract between NBC and members of the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees Technicians/Communications Workers of America.

Among the priorities union negotiators stressed were the need for greater job security, benefits for daily-hire employees, a healthy and safe work environment and some quality-of-life issues.

“We understand that the broadcasting industry is changing, but it’s still a profitable business,” said NABET/CWA prexy John S. Clark. “And we’re here to ensure that our membership has a long and prosperous future in this industry with the National Broadcasting Company.”

In response, network execs said that the “cable revolution of the ’80s … and all development has put communications in turmoil.”

Last week the union expressed dissatisfaction with the network’s initial contract proposal, charging that the package sought to adversely affect 128 sections of the master agreement.

As both sides met for the first formal talks on Tuesday, they expressed optimism that they could get off to a good start.

The current contract, which expires March 31, covers more than 2,220 regular staff and daily hire employees.

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