Company reneged on previous agreement union made to allow for flexibility
The boycott of KSDK-TV Channel 5 by IBEW Local 4 continues unabated as negotiations with the station are showing little progress, Business Manager Mike Pendergast reports. Job security is the key issue. The station is owned by Tegna Media.
The union, which represents the station’s television techs, is making a plea to all union families to turn off Channel 5 to encourage the station’s management to begin serious negotiations.
Two basic issues are involved:
- Work flexibility: In an effort to give the station flexibility and a better handle on costs, Local 4 agreed in their current contract to allow work sharing between unions. The station has not lived up to its agreement and as a result, Local 4 has already lost several members and expects continued bargaining unit erosion unless the issue is resolved. The same work sharing agreement exists at Channels 2 and 4 with no issues, Pendergast said.
- Wages: While Local 4 is willing to accept a reasonable wage scale, the station is refusing any meaningful discussions on this issue. Pendergast noted that Public Television Channel 9 is currently paying higher wages than Channel 5.
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“There are so many good programs on Channels 2, 4, 9, 11 and 30 including first class news,” Pendergast said. “If all our union families continue to turn off Channel 5, as so many have done already, we could hopefully see a positive movement,” he stressed.
The union last met with management on April 12 “without any progress.” The next round of talks are scheduled for May 8 and 9. A total of eight bargaining sessions have been held so far.
Tegna Media, Channel 5’s owner, owns or operates 68 television stations in 54 U.S. markets as part of the Gannett Company.