Anchors, reporters, photojournalists, and producers at WEEK-WHOI in central Illinois have been working for the past two weeks without a formal labor contract and now members of the stations’ news team are going on record about the ongoing negotiations between their union and Granite Broadcasting, the stations’ parent company.
At the center of the dispute, according to WEEK-WHOI employees, is Granite’s desire to use news content produced outside of the market.
“We believe local news should be local,” anchor Gina Morss told the Peoria Journal Star.
The union contract covering members of the WEEK-WHOI news team expired on February 18th and AFTRA is set to meet with Granite for a bargaining session on March 21st. In the meantime, the union has authorized anchor Garry Moore, the local union president, to call a strike.
Moore told the Journal Star that some type of job action is possible but would not say if that includes a walk-out. Moore has yet to respond to TVSpy’s requests for comment.
The local chapter of AFTRA is now interacting with WEEK-WHOI viewers on its Facebook page.
“Leave our local news broadcasts alone!” writes one viewer.