WGAE Voices Worker’s Rights On Blackberry Work Compensation

WGAE Voices Workers’ Rights In Media Interviews on Blackberry Work Compensation

Should employees be compensated for working on a blackberry when not in the office? The Writers Guild of America, East thinks so and recently represented its members at ABC News in a dispute about company-issued blackberries. The company had insisted on a comprehensive waiver of any pay claims for any work done on a blackberry. The WGAE refused. The parties resolved the dispute last week.

Since then, the issue has become a hot media topic and WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson has been prominently promoting the workers’ side. Within the past week, he has been a guest on Fox Business News and quoted in articles in The New York Times, Reuters and CNBC, among others.

According to Lowell Peterson: "Our members are professionals, and they are comfortable with the tools of the trade. What we want to avoid is the 24/7 workplace. People are entitled to time off the job. Blackberries can be liberating; they can help people keep tabs without going into the office. But they can also shackle people to their jobs. If people use their Blackberries to do their jobs – to write material, schedule appearances, and so forth – while not physically at their desks, they should be compensated."