ABC, NABET delay talks

Union decries use of shadow crews during 'MNF'

ABC and the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians postponed contract talks set for Wednesday, two days after a NABET picketer was arrested at Giants Stadium during a protest over the net’s use of “shadow crews” during “NFL Monday Night Football.”

Tom Donahue, a spokesman for NABET in Washington, D.C., said the decision to put off the talks was unrelated to the incident at the New Jersey stadium, where the union reported more than 200 protesters had gathered “to denounce Disney/ABC for wasting between $80,000 and $100,000 on idle shadow crews at every ‘Monday Night Football’ game telecast by ABC this season.”

The standby crews are made available in case NABET, which has been without a contract at ABC for 18 months, orders its troops to walk off a broadcast.

Wednesday’s meeting between contract negotiators would have been the first time they had met since a scheduled three-day session in July broke up acrimoniously on the first day.

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