WGA East wins battle over news jurisdiction

CBS found to have violated labor law

An administrative law judge has ruled in favor of the WGA East in a jurisdictional dispute over coverage of CBS newswriters and editors in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

D. Barry Morris, acting on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, found this week that CBS had violated labor law by negotiating exclusively with the WGA West in 2002 without including the WGA East. Those talks led to a provision creating a new position called supervisory writer-producer outside the bargaining unit.

Morris noted that for many years, CBS had asked for such a position out of the unit while the WGA East had resisted. Neither branch of the guild commented on the seven-page finding, which noted that WGA East exec director Mona Mangan and WGA West exec director John McLean had engaged in heated debates over the issue.

Morris ordered CBS to not honor the provision and said it must deal with both branches on “substantive” matters.

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