CBS News Writers May Strike
More than 500 CBS News employees who are members of the Writers Guild of America are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether they will authorize their own strike.
Those involved range from news writers and editors to desk assistants, promotion writers and researchers working for the network and its owned TV and radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.
They have been working without a contract since April 2005 and without a raise since April 2004. A year ago, they nearly unanimously rejected the network’s last offer. Representatives of the two sides last met in early January.
In a statement posted on the WGA, East, Web site, WGAE President Michael Winship said, “We expect those members to use their strike authorization to tell management that the nearly three years they have gone without a contract is unconscionable, short-sighted and destructive.”
A CBS representative said: “We gave them a fair and final offer nearly a year ago, which they urged their members to reject. This offer remains on the table.”
Among other things, the guild seeks a raise of 13 percent over 41/2 years for its members. It says the CBS offer included a two-tier wage package, one for TV and network radio workers and one for local radio, and the right to merge guild and non-guild shops.
It was unclear at the end of last week how the vote might go and whether that would lead to any immediate work action.