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Comcast Plays Hardball with E! Writers

Things are going to get ugly over at the house that Ted Harbert‘s ex-girlfriend, three sisters and Simon Cowell‘s former whipping boy built. In the wake of today’s WGA West monitored secret-ballot results, which show 46 E! writer yea’s and one nay in favor of joining the union, incoming parent company Comcast is having none of it.

Never mind that The Soup writer Greg Fideler is quoted in this afternoon’s LA Times report as saying “Comcast made a public statement saying it believes in the sanctity of a secret-ballot election, and that’s exactly what we’ve participated in. Comcast must now do its part and begin talks with the Writers Guild.”

Instead, the Corp Comm folks at Comcast have delivered what sounds like a well-rehearsed curve ball statement, indicating that the WGAW had no business conducting the vote in the first place.

We want to make it very clear to our employees, the press and the interested public that union elections are governed by federal law, and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency officially charged with such oversight for the past 75 years. This was not an NLRB-sanctioned election and has no binding effect…

The WGA has asked the company to voluntarily recognize it as the representative of some of our employees without affording those employees the right to vote in a real and binding election employee.

At the very end of the Times piece, WGAW President John Wells offers this quick E!-R: “Comcast’s past history has been staunchly anti-union… This does not bode well.” Stat!

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