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Comcast rejects employee vote

Writers on 10 shows vote for WGA representation

Writers from 10 shows airing on Comcast Entertainment’s E!, Style, and G4 cablers have voted overwhelmingly to be repped by the Writers Guild of America West in an unofficial secret ballot election that was monitored and certified by the office of Los Angeles City Council prexy Eric Garcetti.

Garcetti announced the results of the 46-1 vote Wednesday at at a news conference held at Los Angeles City Hall. The scribes work on such shows as E!’s “The Soup,” “The Dish,” “Attack of the Show” and “E! News.”

“The results of this election send a clear message — these writers are serious about organizing and want Comcast to sit down with the WGAW to negotiate a contract on their behalf,” Garcetti said.

The WGA announced last month that 80% of the approximately 65 writers on the Comcast shows had signed authorization cards for the guild to serve as its bargaining representative. Comcast has rejected that request and asserted that the writers should ask for the National Labor Relations Board to conduct the election.

The pressure from the WGA West and Garcetti comes at a sensitive time for Comcast, as execs are knee-deep in discussions with the FCC and Justice Dept. on possible conditions to be imposed on the company in exchange for federal approval of its merger with NBC Universal.

On Wednesday, Comcast said in a statement that the WGA West determined who would vote in what it called a “nonbinding poll” rather than the NLRB. “The WGA has asked the company to voluntarily recognize it as the representative of some of our employees without affording those employees the right to vote in a real and binding election, with all of the protections established under federal law ensuring the fairness of that process,” Comcast said. “We informed the union that we believe in the sanctity of the secret ballot election and feel that it is important for every employee to have the opportunity to vote. A binding election of eligible employees, overseen by the NLRB, is what is called for and is what is fair for our employees.”

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