Union expresses ‘thanks’ to Labor for outstanding support; talks still stalled
The boycott of Channel 5, KSDK-TV by IBEW Local 4 is having a major impact on the station’s ratings, Local 4 Business Manager Mike Pendergast said, expressing his “thanks” to the Labor Movement for its outstanding support.
Ratings in the May and November 2018 “sweeps” periods used Nielsen ratings to determine percent of viewership, and thus ad rates, has turned upside down since the boycott began this past August –– falling from positive to negative ratings in six of the seven time periods measured among the key viewer demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds. (See chart below.)
‘UNFAIR AND UNREASONABLE’
Several years ago when KSDK was in financial straits, union-represented photographers, editors and technicians agreed to a 10 percent pay cut to help.
The company is now profitable, Pendergast said, “Yet they want us to give back even more, That’s both unfair and unreasonable.”
“It’s clear the public is expressing its displease with station management wanting to destroy wages and benefits and drive them below our area standards at the other two major area major news stations we represent (KMOV and KTVI).”
Particularly galling, Pendergast said, is the company’s effort to eliminate seniority.
The Labor Movement and the general public responded Local 4’s call to boycott the station, Pendergast said, “and that’s clearly showing up in the ratings. We thank everyone, especially our brother and sisters in the Labor Movement for their outstanding support.”
Although there may be other factors that impact a station’s ratings, Pendergast said the boycott has had a major impact on declining viewership. He is hopeful continued pressure will force station management back to the bargaining table.
Local 4’s contract with the station expired in July.
Talks between the union and station management are stalled since the two last met in August, and the company proposed a pay freeze.
No new talks have been scheduled so the boycott, advertised by Local 4 on highway billboards, remains in place.