Protest involves contract coverage with WGA

HOLLYWOOD — More than 100 demonstrators, wearing “Nick Toons Out Writers” badges, staged a noisy lunchtime picket against Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., over its refusal to grant contract coverage to the Writers Guild of America for six Nick shows.

“They’re making hundreds of millions of dollars on animation, because it has legs that won’t quit,” Jay Lander, a scribe on Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” said. “They have had a long and profitable free ride.”

The protest follows several weeks of leafleting and the filing of three unfair labor practice complaints with the Natl. Labor Relations Board. WGA West execs said the guild will continue to pressure Nick, which has said it will wait until the NLRB issues a ruling on whether there should be an election before commenting further.

WGA West associate exec director Paul Nawrocki pointed out that Nick has withdrawn its NLRB complaint about the validity of authorization cards. The event drew support from members of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the Teamsters.

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