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NABET-CWA/ABC-Disney Negotiations - Bulletin #5

NABET-CWA/ABC-Disney Negotiations

Los Angeles

Bulletin #5 - October 13, 2016

Following a scheduled one-week break, the NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee (NNC) resumed negotiations for a successor to the 2011-2017 NABET-CWA/ABC Master Agreement with representatives from ABC/Disney, on Monday, October 10th.  The current bargaining sessions are taking place at ABC’s Los Angeles Headquarters in Burbank, California. 

The Union and Company spent Monday discussing the ‘P’ Plant Maintenance contract and various provisions in the “F, K & O” Newswriters contracts.

The NNC is fighting a Company proposal which would outsource work that ‘P’ Unit members have performed at ABC in Hollywood for decades.  The impact of this demoralizing proposal would lead to a total loss of jurisdiction, and could ultimately eliminate more than 40 staff and daily hire NABET-CWA jobs held by members responsible for building maintenance, carpentry, electrical, plumbing and HVAC.  ‘P’ Unit Shop Steward Gene Barragan joined the NNC for these discussions involving his coworkers.

The remainder of Monday’s session and the Tuesday meeting were devoted to the Union’s proposals concerning Newswriters in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  As a result of a Union information request regarding wage rates and increases, it was discovered that many ‘O’ unit employees in the Los Angeles Newswriter group may not have received appropriate annual wage increases.  The Union is examining this issue very closely.  In addition, the Union is seeking pay seniority recognition for Daily Hire employees who have gained industry experience and deserve to advance on the wage escalator in the same manner as regular employees.   The Company attempted to justify the practice of not paying Daily Hires the top contractual pay rates claiming that “times have changed” and the market conditions in 2nd largest media market allow for such a practice.

The NNC underscored for the Company the value of the NABET-CWA Newswriters, Producers, Assignment Editors and Desk Assistants who have consistently responded to the challenges of the changing media landscape.

The Company was reminded that most of the proposals in the Union’s package come directly from the members themselves.  The Union is seeking to raise the quality of life for all represented Writers, Assignment Editors, Producers, Sports Producers and Desk Assistants. 

After the NNC and Company met face to face on Monday and Tuesday, negotiations recessed for Yom Kippur.  Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Thursday, October 13th.

The NNC includes Local 16 President, Arthur Mazzacca; Local 31 Treasurer, Maurice Thomas; Local 41, RVP Donald Farnham and Local 51 Executive Board member, Jennifer Olney.  Also joining in the latest bargaining, Local 16 Vice President; James Nolan; Local 51 President; Kevin Wilson; Local 41 President, Don Villar; Local 41 Newswriter Steward, Virginia Matos; NABET-CWA Attorney Ralph Phillips and Assistant to the Sector President Jodi Fabrizio-Clontz.