NABET-CWA negotiators have suspended contract talks with ABC after three weeks.
Friday’s announcement came eight days before the expiration of the current four-year deal covering 2,500 technicians, camera operators, news writers and other employees throughout the U.S.
The Natl. Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA said ABC’s proposals included attacks on the seniority system, the pension plan, jurisdiction and other work rules and conditions.
“These attacks come on top of ABC’s apparent refusal to consider new training and job opportunities for workers as the industry’s technology rapidly evolves,” said NABET-CWA president John Clark.
ABC also proposed freezing the NABET-CWA members’ pension plan, a move Clark called “deplorable” since the plan has a credit balance. The union estimated that the proposal would reduce the average participant’s retirement benefit by nearly 25%.
In response, ABC said in a statement, “It is unprecedented for a union at ABC to walk out at this stage of negotiations just because it does not like what has been proposed.