AFTRA Wants Federal Mediation For Metro/Philly Contract Talks
March 24, 2009 at 5:46 AM (PT)
The PHILADELPHIA chapter of AFTRA is asking for federal mediation in its contentious contract negotiations with METRO NETWORKS. AFTRA contends that METRO, a WESTWOOD ONE company, is attempting to get an excessive workload from remaining employees after laying off 13 employees in SEPTEMBER. The union, which represents 35 METRO employees in the PHILADELPHIA market, was voted in as the representative of local METRO employees last JUNE.
"Contract negotiations have reached the point where the company is not offering acceptable contract terms and we need a third party to sit down and focus on solutions," said AFTRA PHILADELPHIA Local President CATHERINE BROWN. "We understand these are difficult economic times, but the issues that are keeping us apart aren’t simply financial. We believe the company is using the current economic climate to bust our union and threaten AFTRA members to accept terms that would otherwise be unacceptable. We are asking that the federal mediator be assigned until we reach agreement on terms for a first contract."
"This is just one more example of why the Employee Free Choice Act, now pending in Congress, is so critically important to AFTRA members," added AFTRA National Pres. ROBERTA REARDON. "If the Employee Free Choice Act were in place today, by law the company would be prohibited from stalling us on first contract negotiations. Moreover, because federal mediation or arbitration is required if a contract settlement isn’t reached after 90 days, these employees would already be working under an AFTRA contract that provides them with the good wages and benefits they need to support themselves and their families in this terrible economy."