In Contract Dispute, WTAE Talent Launches Social Media Campaign

By Merrill Knox 

More than 20 on-air personalities at WTAE, Pittsburgh’s ABC-affiliate, have launched a social media campaign called “Fairness 4 WTAE” to protest what they say is unfair treatment by station management.

The 23 anchors and reporters have been represented by AFTRA since June 2010. Since then, no progress has been made in more than a dozen collective bargaining sessions to reach a contract, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The next meeting is Tuesday.

The sticking point is the issue of scheduling. The “Fairness 4 WTAE” Facebook and Twitter accounts feature anecdotal examples, such as: “How would you feel if your employer told you your pre-approved, scheduled in advance time off for the holidays was cancelled?”

According to the Post-Gazette,  the campaign’s printed materials use the names and photos of high-profile WTAE talent such as Wendy Bell, Kelley Frey and Mike Clark. Sports anchor Bill Hillgrove has also been very involved in the campaign.

WTAE president and general manager Michael Hayes told the Post-Gazette the negotiations continue “in good faith.”

“We continue to value our employees and look to working toward the future,” he said.