WGA staffers set vote on unionization

Guild could team up with Teamsters

HOLLYWOOD — About 80 staffers at the Writers Guild of America West will vote next week on whether to unionize with the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters.

A majority yes vote in the Dec. 8 election would place the guild staffers into Teamsters Local 986. The staff organizing committee said subsequent negotiations would cover issues such as cost of living increases, seniority rights and wage increases.

“We feel that the WGA West staff should enjoy many of the same protections and benefits we work every day to defend for WGA members,” the organizing committee said in a statement. “This election will give staff a voice in determining the quality of their workplace environment and halt the continued erosion of staff benefits by WGA West management. Many of us sought employment at the WGA West because it was a great place to work and we believed in its mission.”

WGA West counsel Marshall Goldberg said the election will be conducted by secret ballot under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board. He noted that several WGA employees had expressed concerns about being pressured to support the unionization drive.

Local 986 organized about 40 business representatives at the Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood headquarters in 2001.

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