The National Labor Relations Board has issued a formal complaint against ITV Studios, the company behind such TV series as The First 48 and Four Weddings, charging that it wrongfully terminated a longtime producer for his support of the WGA East’s efforts to organize its employees. A hearing on the matter is expected sometime in July. “We are pleased the NLRB is pursuing this case. No one should be fired for supporting a union and seeking a voice on the job,” WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson said. “While the NLRB’s decision is good news, ITV continues to ignore its employees’ vote for guild representation. We urge ITV to reinstate the employee and to come to the bargaining table so we can negotiate a fair and equitable contract for all the employees who do the work that makes the company successful.” Employees at ITV Studios voted in December to join the WGAE as part of the union’s push to organize nonfiction TV writers; the vote, involving about 80 writers, has yet to be certified. The NLRB conducted a three-month investigation before filing its complaint. The board previously sided with the union in cases against Atlas Media (Biography) and Lion Television (Cash Cab).
The following statement was issued today by Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE):
Verizon and Google: The Deal of the Titans
The world’s biggest media companies want to define how people will get content over the Internet. Money talks; independent content creators: take a walk. A mega-deal is reportedly in the works in which Verizon will favor Internet content from Google because Google has the spare cash to pay for preferred access. And this is being touted as the model for how content providers and Internet service providers will do business. We have seen the future, and it is exactly like the past.
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO represents people who write, edit, produce, and create graphics for television, film, radio, and digital media. Our members write television drama, comedy, news, and public interest programs; they write movies for major studios and for independents; they create original content for the web, for mobile applications, and for other digital platforms. Our members know first-hand how an open Internet permits them to create more innovative, informative content and to distribute it directly to the public.
The Internet and other digital media offer an unprecedented opportunity for creators to reach consumers and for people to watch and read what they want, when they want. This is very different from traditional media in which major studios, distributors, and television networks control the flow of movies and programs. Digital technology