Responding to the WGA East’s frustration over stalled contract talks, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on Friday visited the Gotham newsrooms of CBS-owned 1010-WINS Radio, WCBS-AM 880 Radio, CBS Network Radio and ABC Network Radio.
During the visits, WGA members told Weiner about contract proposals by CBS and ABC and their impact on the quality of news and working conditions. Both contracts expired in 2005, and no talks have been held for the past six months.
“We are encouraged by Congressman Weiner’s interest in these issues and his support of our members’ need for a respectful contract that provides fair wages and continued union protec-tion,” said WGA East president Chris Albers.
Guild noted that CBS’ last proposal would give the network the freedom to combine newsrooms in markets, such as WCBS-AM 880 and 1010-WINS in New York, KNX and KFWB in Los Angeles and stations in Illinois. The WGA-CBS membership rejected this offer by a 99% vote in November.
It also noted that ABC’s last proposal would allow the company to remove newswriter-producers from the union. ABC had no response to the announcement Friday.
About 500 members are covered by the CBS pact and 250 under the ABC contract.