Updated: Corporate Grinch: GE Threatens to Kill Christmas Rather than Negotiate with Workers in Good Faith
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So, it's a liberal War on Christmas, is it?
NBC’s failure to bargain fairly with the union that represents nearly 3,000 of the network’s producers, writers and technicians has put the lighting of the world's most famous Christmas tree at serious risk. In an attempt to save the annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special, the union launched a new website today – http://NBCStoleChristmas.com – that highlights the “Grinch” within NBC.
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 11 president Ed McEwan said 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, management has grown increasingly hostile, ignoring the concerns of the union’s membership.
“We can’t let the Grinch at NBC steal another Christmas from thousands of honest working people,” said McEwan. “This charade must stop. 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.”
Hoping that further contract negotiation dates can be set without a full strike during NBC’s Christmas tree lighting, the broadcast technicians are using online advertising and text messaging to promote their efforts. Updates on NABET-CWA’s campaign are available by texting “Grinch” to 228466 or by registering their cell phone numbers at the new website.
The union’s 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.
In an earlier life, I used to do film and video production and post-production in New York. Union crews are good, fast, know their shit and cost a lot. We'd always work with them, and we'd build their highly skilled labor costs into the budget. We'd make money, the crew would make money, and our clients would not only get good product but, ultimately, whether they knew it or not, better value for their dollar than if we had paid peanuts to hire some monkeys.
Update: This is American; the union caved, and issued a press release about how its members had "saved Christmas." PR victory, I suppose.