NABET, ABC talks collapse

Further bargaining sessions canceled

NEW YORK — The latest round of contract negotiations between ABC and the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees & Technicians collapsed Tuesday, just a few hours after they began.

Talks began around 11 a.m. Tuesday and lasted for roughly seven hours before representatives for ABC and the union left the table. Bargaining sessions scheduled for today and Thursday have apparently been canceled, with both sides in the bitter dispute unsure when — or if — talks will resume.

Tuesday’s negotiations marked the first time since November the two camps had held a formal meeting.

In April, ABC sent union leaders a letter outlining what it said was its final and best offer on five key points of contention. The network didn’t budge from its position on those sticking points at Tuesday’s talks, and the union didn’t offer any response, an ABC spokeswoman said.

“The union offered no new ideas, no new proposals,” she said.

A NABET spokesman declined comment, but said workers would hold a protest rally outside ABC’s New York headquarters today.