NBC10 Cameraman Strike Ends
Striking workers from NBC10 have made a deal with the TV station. The cameramen, photographers and technicians from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 had been on strike since Sept, 24, two days before Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia.
It’s a four-year contract that includes wage increases and a one-time ratification bonus, according to an NBC10 statement.
So ends a bitter three week strike. At one point union president Brian Burrows sent a letter to United States Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, alleging a “serious breach of security” caused by NBC10 sending replacement cameramen to cover the pope’s visit. After all, the replacements were hired one day before the event and the deadline for credentials had long since passed. (NBC10 denied the claim.)
The union even sent protestors to the Today Show in New York, where signs behind Al Roker and the gang read “Fair Contract for NBC 10” and “Nothing But Corporate Greed.” That was just days after the ratmobile showed up at the Comcast Center. But the kicker was when union head John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty said two picketers were struck by cars being driven by NBC10 employees at the picket line outside the studio on City Avenue in Bala Cynwyd.
A main sticking point in the negotiations was NBC10’s use of automated technology in the control room to do some jobs typically done by union members. The new deal provides “flexibility for Automated Production Control (APC) operators around cut-ins and breaking news,” an NBC10 statement said.
The union also wanted to make sure picketing members disrupting live TV shots were given amnesty, but the deal does not provide a blanket policy for amnesty.
There were approximately 50 employees affected by the strike.
Here’s a statement from Dougherty:
“IBEW Local 98 can now confirm the ratification of a new four-year contract with NBC 10. The term sounds cliched, but this was truly a win-win for both parties. NBC 10 once again has its best trained and most skilled union photographers and technicians back in the fold and just in time for the all-important November sweeps ratings period. For our Local 98 members, they’re back doing what they love and know they have job security. Both we and NBC 10 acknowledge the uncertain future of television broadcasting, but we each understand the value of entering the future together, as partners. With streaming, multiple viewing platforms, 3-D technology and seemingly endless other technological developments changing the industry by the day, none of us knows what the future holds in store for the television industry and those who make it work. However, we are grateful to be continuing our relationship with NBC 10 and thank its management for working through this sometimes difficult process to reach an equitable new agreement. IBEW Local 98’s members look forward to returning to the station and the jobs they do so well.”
Here’s a statement from Ric Harris, President and General Manager, NBC10 and Telemundo62:
“We’re glad the strike is over and we’re all looking forward to working together as one team again. Under the terms of our new contract, which includes enhanced flexibility to operate in today’s fast-changing broadcast television environment, we look forward to continuing to deliver our viewers the very best local news, information and weather that keeps them in the know throughout the day.”
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