When union negotiations with NBC stalled earlier this week, members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians threatened to pull the plug for the network’s biggest holiday event: the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center.
But at the last minute, the union decided to rescind its warning and go on with the broadcast despite NBC’s failure to negotiate, as a “gesture of goodwill,” according to Local 11 president Ed McEwan. Then again, maybe the NABET-CWA realized if they went on strike during the biggest Christmas spectacle on television, it wouldn’t be NBC that looked Grinchy.
Press release and statement from the union, after the jump.
UNION SAVES “CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER,” AGREES TO “STAY ON THE JOB” DESPITE NBC’S FAILURE TO NEGOTIATE
Union Hopes NBC Sees Christmas as a Time for Goodwill in Negotiations
NEW YORK, N.Y. — In the spirit of Christmas, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 11 president Ed McEwan today said that his union will “stay on the job” for the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree despite NBC’s failure to bargain fairly with them.
Setting an example for management to stop ignoring the concerns of the union’s membership, McEwan said he hopes NBC realizes that Christmas is a time for goodwill, too.
The network’s annual Christmas special tonight was at the brink of cancellation because NBC officials had grown hostile during stalled negotiations with nearly 3,000 of the their producers, writers and technicians. The broadcast technicians are using a new website – http://NBCStoleChristmas.com – that highlights the “Grinch” within NBC, and text messaging to promote their efforts.
STATEMENT OF ED McEWAN, NABET-CWA LOCAL 11 PRESIDENT
We’re not going to let the Grinch at NBC ruin Christmas for millions of people around the world. So we’re going to stay on the job. We hope that NBC sees Christmas as a time of goodwill, too, and that they negotiate a new and fair contract with us.
The union is corresponding with NBC Universal to schedule future talks, but we hope the network uses this opportunity to engage in the give-and-take of collective bargaining to reach a fair agreement that favors everyone’s interests.
We began negotiating our contract more than a year ago and have seen little progress in our talks because NBC has simply ignored our concerns. They accused us of being unhappy when we had to reschedule one meeting, but as outlined in a bulletin to our members, last month’s bargaining session was canceled because of a tragic death in the family of one of the union’s participants.
Instead of trying to throw snow in everyone’s eyes, NBC should answer the charges against them of unfair negotiating.