Both parties hopeful resolution reached before walkout

ABC News staffers covered by the Writers Guild of America East voted Wednesday night to authorize a strike against management, which is looking to remove a number of positions from union jurisdiction.

The 135 producers, writers, assignment desk editors and associate producers at Gotham’s ABC O&O WABC-TV, ABC Radio Network and ABC News voted 95% in favor of a strike over the issue of the union’s jurisdiction over certain staffers.

Negotiations continued beyond the last contract’s expiration Thursday, with both sides hopeful that a resolution will be reached before a job walkout occurs.

“We hope to work it out for the satisfaction of both parties,” ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover said. “But we need some flexibility in these economic times.”

Guild spokesman Vito Turso said the vote empowers union negotiators to call a strike if they feel it necessary.

“The union is interested in meeting and resolving the differences, but they do so now equipped with an overwhelming show of support from the employees,” Turso said.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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