×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Unionization Vote Set for Telemundo Performers to Join SAG-AFTRA

A unionization election has been set for next month for Telemundo performers to decide whether to join SAG-AFTRA.

The National Labor Relations Board has scheduled the election to begin on Feb. 7 and end March 8. The NLRB-administered vote will be conducted by secret ballot, which will be mailed to eligible Telemundo performers.

SAG-AFTRA accused NBCUniversal a year ago of operating with a double standard between Spanish-language and English-language talent hired for productions under the same parent corporation. SAG-AFTRA made that allegation on the heels of NBCUniversal unveiling plans for a new headquarters in Miami for its Telemundo operations, while Telemundo responded by saying it was committed to making itself a “great place to work” for its employees.

SAG-AFTRA then announced on Aug. 3 that it had ramped up its campaign with union president Gabrielle Carteris saying, “Despite Telemundo’s bravado as a champion of diversity, inclusion, and empowerment for the Hispanic-American community, the company’s actions behind the scenes tell a much different story. In addition to treating its Spanish-language talent as second-class citizens, Telemundo has actively employed tactics to dissuade talent from obtaining union protections.”

The performers union said Monday that Telemundo has surged in primetime ratings largely due to the success of its telenovelas and other scripted dramatic programming. SAG-AFTRA petitioned the NLRB on Dec. 9, 2016, and called for an election.

“This vote is about equity, fairness and the fundamental rights of Spanish-speaking actors in this industry and in our country,” said Carteris. “We have given Telemundo performers our full support as they take this courageous step and we look forward to welcoming them to our family of 160,000 media and entertainment professionals.”

Supporters of unionization include Alec Baldwin, Rosario Dawson, Susan Sarandon, Andy Garcia, Chris Rock, Kate del Castillo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jaime Camil, Rita Moreno, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, and Bryan Cranston.

Telemundo agreed in September that the Latin American Music Awards, which were telecast on Oct. 6, would be covered by a SAG-AFTRA agreement. Telemundo executives not been willing to recognize SAG-AFTRA as the bargaining agent for employees without  unionization election.

“We are proud of the success we have achieved together with our talent through the direct relationship we have enjoyed with them,” a Telemundo spokesperson told Variety on Monday.
“Since SAG-AFTRA first approached us about a year ago, we have invited them to ask for an NLRB election. We are pleased the union now has done this, so that our talent will be able to make a decision for themselves on whether to be represented. As the largest production facility producing Spanish-language, long-format scripted programming in the US, we have created hundreds of high-value jobs for Spanish-language talent and are committed to making Telemundo a great place to work  for them and all our employees.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Taylor Swift Joins 'The Voice' Season 17 as a Mentor

    Taylor Swift is returning to “The Voice” as a mega mentor in the upcoming 17th season of the NBC singing competition series. The “Blank Space” singer will offer advice to each team of artists as they prepare for the knockout rounds in the show. Coaches John Legend and Blake Shelton took to Instagram to share [...]

  • Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix yada yada yada “Seinfeld.” Variety has confirmed that the streaming giant has landed the global streaming rights to all 180 episodes the genre-defining sitcom. The deal was struck with Sony Pictures Television, which controls the distribution rights to the NBC series. It is a five-year deal which is set to begin in 2021. “’Seinfeld’ [...]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    'Kingkiller Chronicle' Series Not Moving Forward at Showtime, Lionsgate TV to Shop

    The series adaptation of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” is not moving forward at Showtime as planned. Variety has confirmed with sources that Showtime will no longer develop the series, which has been in the works at the premium cabler since October 2017, for financial reasons. Lionsgate Television, which is producing the show, will now shop the [...]

  • Charlie HunnamBleecker Street 'Papillon' Los Angeles

    Charlie Hunnam to Star in ‘Shantaram’ Series at Apple

    Charlie Hunnam has been cast as the lead in the forthcoming Apple series “Shantaram,” based on Gregory David Robert’s novel, Variety has confirmed. Apple has greenlit the show, which will represent the first international production for Apple TV Plus, after acquiring the rights to the novel back in June 2018. The 2003 novel tells the story of [...]

  • Wendy Williams

    ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ Renewed Through 2021-22 Season on Fox Stations

    “The Wendy Williams Show” is set to remain on the air through the 2021-22 season. Fox Television Stations has handed Williams’ eponymous talk show a two-year renewal, extending the live, nationally syndicated show’s decade-long run to 13 seasons. “I’m so excited to launch our 11th year by letting the world know I will continue to [...]

  • Canal Plus

    Netflix, France's Canal Plus Sign Distribution Deal

    France’s Canal Plus Group has sealed a deal to offer Netflix on its platform, joining other pay- and cable-TV providers across Europe in recognizing the demand for access to the U.S. streaming giant. Beginning Oct. 15, subscribers to Canal Plus’ Cine/Series package will gain access to Netflix through Canal Plus’ set-top boxes. The exclusive bundle [...]

  • TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on

    TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on 'Sunday Night Football' Opener

    Last night, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Flacons held off Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in an interception-filled affair on “Sunday Night Football.” Perhaps unsurprisingly given the stop-start nature of the game, it didn’t perform quite as strongly in the early Nielsen ratings as last week’s “SNF” opener between the New England Patriots and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content