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Posts Tagged ‘AFTRA’

SAG President Announces AFTRA Merger During Awards Show: ‘Historic Moment of Unity Is at Hand’

Ken Howard, president of the Screen Actors Guild, took time out of Sunday night’s televised SAG Awards to announce that the union’s board had reached an agreement with AFTRA, which represents thousands of TV journalists, to merge the two organizations.

“This weekend, our boards have overwhelmingly endorsed a plan for the merger of SAG and AFTRA,” Howard told those in the awards show audience, as well as viewers watching at home.

“We have been hard at work in creating a plan for a single union that will give our members maximum strength throughout the entertainment and media industries,” he said. “And I am so proud to say that that historic moment of unity is at hand.”

The proposed merger is now up for a vote by the unions’ members.

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WEEK Staffers Wear All-Black On-Air, Protesting Dismissal of Longtime Anchor

Following the abrupt dismissal of longtime anchor Mike Dimmick, staffers at WEEK–including on-air talent–dressed in black on Friday as a show of solidarity.

“It is a sad day when a 29-year employee and broadcast veteran is denied an opportunity to have a respectable send off,” WEEK anchor Garry Moore, and president of the local chapter of AFTRA, told TVSpy via email. “Management called a couple of people upstairs and told them that Wednesday was his last day. It was supposed to be September 16th. Essentially, they’re paying him to stay home.” Read more

After Outspoken Comments on Labor Dispute, Mike Dimmick Cut Loose at Peoria’s WEEK

Mike Dimmick has been shown the door at Granite Broadcasting’s WEEK following his outspoken comments about the ongoing labor dispute at the station in the Peoria Journal-Star yesterday.

“I can confirm that Mike Dimmick no longer works for WEEK-TV,” news director Don Shafer told TVSpy in an email. “Mike has been a great employee of this station for nearly 29 years. We will miss him dearly as we move on. Mike accepted employment elsewhere and we wish him nothing but the best.”

AFTRA — the union that represents WEEK talent — told a different story in a statement on their Facebook page. Read more

WRTV Anchor Battles AFTRA Over Dues

Trisha Shepherd, who anchors the 6, 7, and 11 p.m. newscasts for Indianapolis’s WRTV, has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against AFTRA claiming that the union is trying to collect dues that she doesn’t owe.

According to The Indianapolis Star, AFTRA has been attempting to collect $1,032 from Shepherd, who joined WRTV in 2007, even though she isn’t a union member and the last labor agreement between AFTRA and WRTV’s owner McGraw-Hill Broadcasting expired in 2009.

Shepherd filed the complaint with the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been connected to the recent right-to-work disputes in Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. She has made it clear, though, that the filing isn’t intended as a political statement.

“I’m just like any other citizen trying to protect myself,” Shepherd told the Star.

WEEK-WHOI Staffers Reject ‘Final’ Labor Offer

AFTRA’s local Peoria chapter has resoundingly rejected Granite Broadcasting‘s “last, best, and final” labor offer to employees of WEEK-WHOI.

Since February, staffers at the Central Illinois NBC-ABC-CW outpost have been working without a formal labor deal and, according to the Peoria Journal Star, AFTRA representatives voted 27 to 1 on Friday to reject the so-called “final” proposal submitted by Granite at the end of March.

While anchors, reporters, photojournalists, producers, and other WEEK-WHOI staffers continued to work without a deal in place, the union authorized anchor Garry Moore, the local union president, to call a strike.

Moore, who has not been immediately available for comment today, told the Star yesterday that some type of job action was possible. AFTRA plans to hold a public rally at the WEEK-WHOI studios on Wednesday to emphasize the impact local news has in the community.

In Peoria, WEEK-WHOI Considers Granite’s ‘Final’ Labor Offer

Union officials representing employees of WEEK-WHOI in central Illinois returned to the bargaining table this week and are now reviewing a new proposal from Granite Broadcasting that the stations’ parent company says is its “last, best, and final offer.”

Anchors, reporters, photojournalists, and producers at WEEK-WHOI, a NBC- and an ABC-affiliate licensed to Peoria, have been working without a labor contract since February 18th, when the previous deal expired.

A major sticking point in the negotiations between Granite and the local chapter of AFTRA is language surrounding the jurisdiction of local news production. Previous offers have included language that would allow Granite to farm out local news content, something that WEEK-WHOI staffers vehemently oppose. Read more

AFTRA Authorizes WEEK-WHOI Staffers to Strike as Station Considers Outside News Production

Anchors, reporters, photojournalists, and producers at WEEK-WHOI in central Illinois have been working for the past two weeks without a formal labor contract and now members of the stations’ news team are going on record about the ongoing negotiations between their union and Granite Broadcasting, the stations’ parent company.

At the center of the dispute, according to WEEK-WHOI employees, is Granite’s desire to use news content produced outside of the market.

“We believe local news should be local,” anchor Gina Morss told the Peoria Journal Star.

The union contract covering members of the WEEK-WHOI news team expired on February 18th and AFTRA is set to meet with Granite for a bargaining session on March 21st.  In the meantime, the union has authorized anchor Garry Moore, the local union president, to call a strike. Read more