The Writers Guild of America West has gone public with a dispute with CBS over its refusal to expand paid sick leave for its news writers who are working during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We Need Sick Leave Now!” the missive said. “Stand with your fellow WGAW members at CBS. We must all do our part to curb the spread of COVID-19. Yet, as our nation unites around this shared goal, WGAW news writers at CBS are being left behind.”
“While other essential businesses have taken steps to support their employees’ physical and financial well-being, CBS refuses to publicly guarantee paid sick leave for any of its news writers beyond the current contractual allotment(s). For weeks, news writers have asked CBS for assurances that they will have adequate paid sick leave for the duration of the time they, or their loved ones, are dealing with this deadly virus. CBS has remained silent. Join your fellow writers and ask CBS to do the right thing! It’s time for CBS to take responsibility for the health and safety of all its employees.”
WGA West spokesman Neal Sacharow said the guild asked CBS to expand sick leave for Los Angeles-area CBS newswriter members since the COVID-19 crisis began more than a month ago.
“Instead of releasing a clear policy, CBS insists each individual member must go to HR to ask individually for leave,” Sacharow said. “That is not a sick leave policy workers can count on.”