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WGA Reaches Out to MSNBC Anchors to Help Unionization Bid

The Writers Guild of America East has reached out to MSNBC anchors Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz and Chris Hayes to push for its unionization bid at Peacock Prods.

Reps of the guild deliver more than 10,000 petition signatures to the hosts, noting that parent Comcast/NBCUniversal has opposed the unionization effort for two years. WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson repeated last week’s assertion by the guild that Comcast should be barred from acquiring Time Warner Cable.

“MSNBC’s anchors are fearless advocates for our nation’s working-class families—night after night, they stand up to corporate greed, corruption, and wrongdoing,” said WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson. “It is essential that they hear what people employed by the same corporation have to say about their own workplace struggles.”

The WGA has been attempting since 2012 to organize about 100 freelance producers and associate producers at NBC’s documentary-reality operation Peacock Prods. Reps for parent Comcast / NBCU did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The guild expressed frustration over the legal maneuvers used to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from counting the ballots from an election last June — and warned that Comcast/NBCU’s “flagrant abuse” of the law will only get worse if it’s allowed to take over Time Warner Cable.

“Comcast / NBC has refused to recognize its employees’ right to organize for nearly two years.” Peterson said. “That is the power and danger of media conglomerates that have pockets so deep they can afford to stall and evade a basic responsibility owed to their own employees – the responsibility to honor  the results of a secret ballot vote for representation.”

Peterson urged the FCC to take action against the merger. “To give a giant corporation like Comcast/NBCUniversal even more clout in the marketplace – and in the workplace – is simply wrong.”

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