Nearly 3,000 of the network’s producers, writers and technicians are accusing NBC of failing to bargain fairly with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 11 in New York. So now the union has targeted NBC’s 12th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special scheduled to air Wednesday. The union launched a new website today, http://NBCStoleChristmas.com, that it says highlights the “Grinch” within NBC. Local 11 president Ed McEwan said in a statement the union is angry about stalled negotiations for a new contract. NABET-CWA’s prior contract expired in March, and there has been very little progress since talks began more than a year ago. In the meantime, McEwan says management has grown increasingly hostile, ignoring the concerns of the union’s membership. “Christmas is supposed to be a time of goodwill, but the network’s management is trying to hide behind their fancy lights while leaving their employees in the dark.” The union says its principal goal is to protect job security from the network’s attempts to dismantle how technical work is assigned, so that NBC’s employees who primarily perform those tasks are allowed in the bargaining unit. “This would protect NBC’s flexibility by letting non-union employees do technical work, provided it doesn’t become their primary job,” said McEwan. “This is an enlightened way forward for both the company and the union. It provides job security for our members and flexibility for NBC as the TV industry continues to rapidly change.” Local 11 says NBC’s bargaining team has totally disregarded the union’s attempt to move their relationship firmly into the 21st century, while continuing to press a disastrous seniority scheme that would allow management to protect a favored group of less-experienced employees from layoffs.
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