Guild's East employees file unfair labor charges

With the writers strike about to enter its third month, staffers at the WGA East have gone public with a dispute with guild leaders over their contract ratification.

The Newspaper Guild announced Thursday it had filed unfair labor practice charges with the Natl. Labor Relations Board against the WGA East, alleging that the guild rewrote language in a previously ratified contract. The filing by TNG, which reps 19 employees at the WGA East, also asserted that the WGA East had threatened a union leader and delayed paying holiday bonuses.

“It’s unbelievable that the a union doesn’t understand that it can’t pick and choosse the language it was to live up to in a contract,” said New York TNG prexy Bill O’Meara.

The TNG filing comes two weeks after the WGA East went to the NLRB to resolve what it called “ambiguity” in the contract language covering a four-year deal signed in October, including 3% raises annually along with two years of retroactive pay.

In response to the TNG announcement, the WGA East said the disagreement stems from the Newspaper Guild’s interpretation of a 3% increase as a 6% increases for certain employees for 2007.

“The WGAE awaits the ruling of the NLRB and will abide by its decision,” it added. “In the interim, the WGAE has administered all other provisions covered in the contract, including paying staff retroactive salary increases, 3% increases for 2007, optional holiday bonuses for 2007, and is prepared to administer the 3% salary increases due in March 2008.”

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