On-air talent at Pittsburgh’s WTAE rejoined AFTRA in 2010, after 12 years of being a non-union shop.
Now, in 2012, the union members can’t come to terms with management on a contract.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that WTAE’s on-air staff have launched a social media campaign that say they are being “denied severance benefits for workers fired without cause, a minimum salary scale, overtime pay after eight hours in a work day, retirement benefits on the same terms as other employees at the station, and consideration for unscheduled call-outs, split shifts and work on the sixth consecutive day and thereafter.”
The staffers say that since other Hearst stations have recently settled contracts, WTAE, which is also owned by Hearst, should follow suit.
“I believe they want us to start all over again. They say, ‘You can’t catch up with the other stations,’ ” said Bill Hillgrove, who provides reporting for WTAE.
Michael Hayes, president and general manager of WTAE, said he could not comment to the P-G other than to say, “We are negotiating in good faith and look forward to continuing those negotiations. We continue to value our employees and look to working toward the future.”