On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board announced that a complaint filed by the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees & Technicians against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was deemed without merit.
The NABET complaint, alleging unfair labor practices and conspiracy, was filed with the NLRB after ABC, which has produced the Oscarcast for more than two decades, handed over production responsibilities for tonight’s show to the Academy itself. Both ABC and the Academy feared that the Oscar show could be ruined if NABET, whose employees at ABC have been working without a contract for a year, staged a walkout during the event at the Shrine Auditorium.
NABET leaders said their members had been pushed out of the Oscarcast and took out ads lambasting what they called ABC’s “corporate greed.” The union filed an unfair labor practice complaint, charging that the network and the Academy were conspiring against the union.
“We’ve tried to handle this problem as fairly as we could, following all of the NLRB’s rules,” said Bruce Davis, exec director of the Academy, “and it’s reassuring to have the NLRB endorse our position so resoundingly.”
Davis and Gil Cates, the Oscarcast producer, said the 75 techies working the show are repped by a union, in most cases IATSE. “The Academy hired essentially the same technical crew that had worked the show in the past,” a statement released Friday by the Academy said.
The NLRB gave NABET until today to withdraw the accusations against the Academy and ABC. If the union fails to do so voluntarily, NLRB officials in Washington will dismiss the charges.