IBEW 4 authorizes strike if necessary at KSDK Channel 5

KSDK has violated agreement made with union to win concessions in current pact; talks set for Jan. 9, 16, 2023.

Citing various violations of their current contact and demands by management of KSDK Channel 5, members of IBEW Local 4 have authorized strike action, if needed, at a special meeting held Sunday, Dec. 4, Business Manager Mike Pendergast said.

“KSDK insists on new conditions of employment to which our members will not agree,” Pendergast said in an email to all members after the vote. Their current three-year contract expires Jan.31, 2023.

There has not been a strike at Channel 5 in some 50 years.

Noting that the union had made concessions in their current contract to give the station “jurisdictional flexibility” in the current pact, Pendergast said the station failed to honor the agreements made by the station in return for the union’s flexibility on some of its jurisdictional work.

“Our concessions were conditioned on our continued participation in work assignments and recognition of bargaining unit representation of certain employees performing our work” – conditions “KSDK refuses to honor,” Pendergast stressed.

Adding insult to injury, Pendergast said “KSDK pays our members substantially less than competitors KTVI and KMOV for performing similar work.”

In an effort to ensure a smooth transition into a new contract, Local 4 asked for, and held, a first contract meeting on Nov. 16. However, KSDK negotiators refused to offer a specific proposal and instead wanted “discussions” on a series of issues that “would effectively ruin our members’ futures by changing the conditions of our employment,” Pendergast said.

“We certainly don’t want to strike, but if their approach is to try and destroy our members’ ability to earn a living and create unacceptable working conditions, then we may have no alternative,” Pendergast said. “The vote Sunday made that clear.”

In 2018 contract talks with Channel 5, the union conducted an 18-month boycott of the channel in order to win ratification of their current contract.

Local 4 represents broadcast television engineers, photographers, editors and broadcast maintenance engineers.


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