CBS News Writers Vote To Strike
November 20, 2007 at 5:47 AM (PT)
CBS news writers, graphic artists and other staffers who work for the network's television and radio news operations voted by a wide margin to authorize a strike against their employer, the WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA announced MONDAY (11/19). Of the 300 employees who cast ballots in last week's special election, 81% backed a labor stoppage to protest working for more than 2 1/2 years without a contract.
"It's a very powerful vote," said WGA EAST Pres. MICHAEL WINSHIP. "It proves that the CBS News folks have reached a point where they have taken this situation in their own hands and recognized that they need to get a contract, whatever needs to be done."
The union's CBS negotiating committee will meet after THANKSGIVING to determine the next course of action, Winship said.
In a statement, CBS showed no inclination to compromise.
"The offer we presented nearly a year ago was fair and reasonable, and remains on the table," the network said. "It not only includes one of the best medical plans in the country with minimal employee contributions, but fair salary increases to all WGA employees as well."
The labor dispute involves more than 500 news writers, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers and researchers who work for CBS in NEW YORK, WASHINGTON, CHICAGO and LOS ANGELES. About 60% are at local television and radio stations; the rest are at the network.