Writer-Producers at NBCU’s Nonfiction Production Company Vote to Unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East

NWGAE_logo_colorEW YORK, NY (September 21, 2016)— Ballots counted by The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) show that the writer-producers at Peacock Productions, the “reality”/nonfiction television production subsidiary of Comcast/NBCUniversal, voted decisively in favor of unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

The ballot count follows a nearly four year saga that pitted hard-working men and women who create nonfiction television programs against a corporate behemoth determined to deprive them of the right to work under a collective bargaining agreement. By contrast, NBCU television writers and writer-producers working on scripted comedies and dramas have long worked under Writers Guild contracts.

The saga began in October of 2012 when writer-producers at Peacock Productions filed for a union election with the NLRB. Peacock Productions and NBC began an intense anti-union campaign that including threatening employees and attempted to block a vote from ever taking place. The NLRB Region 2 in New York ruled against Peacock and ordered the election to go forward, which it did on June 14, 2013. NBCU filed an appeal, and after the election, the NLRB impounded the ballots until a decision was made by the Board in Washington, DC.

The ballots were counted shortly after the NLRB’s Board ruled on August 26, 2016 that these employees did, in fact, have the right to unionize under federal labor law.

“While NBC has been dragging its feet the past three years, nonfiction workers have won union elections at New York’s biggest production companies.  We are transforming this industry.  Now producers and APs at Peacock can join in the progress we’re making towards reasonable working conditions and sustainable careers,” said David Van Taylor, a producer at Peacock Productions. “It’s clear the majority of creative professionals in this industry are behind us.  Peacock workers now expect to negotiate a contract that protects their rights, just as Writers Guild contracts have protected the rights of NBC’s fiction writers for years.”

“The writer-producers at Peacock join their colleagues across the nonfiction TV industry who have joined with the WGAE to unionize, to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will enable them to build sustainable careers doing this work,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “It is past time for NBCU to stop playing lawyerly games, to honor the decision of Peacock’s employees to engage in collective bargaining and to sit down at the table with us to hammer out an agreement.”

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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