More than 75 employees of “PBS NewsHour” are trying to form a union within the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
The employees, including reporters, editors, producers and others, seek voluntary recognition from WETA, which owns “PBS NewsHour.”
Union organizers presented management with a petition to unionize on July 5, having garnered support from more than 70% of the workers who would be represented.
“Upper management have acknowledged receipt of the letter and have said they support employees’ right to form a union. There has been no official response for our request for voluntary recognition [as of July 13],” employee leaders said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
WETA plans to voluntarily accept the creation of the PBS NewsHour Union. WETA Vice President of External Affairs Mary Stewart told the Hollywood Reporter that “our intent is to recognize the union voluntarily … we have to go through the official, appropriate steps with that union.”
Most of these workers are based in Arlington, Virginia, but some work for the show’s West Bureau out of Phoenix, Arizona, and others work remotely nationwide.
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WETA is no novice in working with unions: SAG-AFTRA already represents its shows’ anchors and correspondents, as well as workers at WETA’s classical music radio station 90.9 FM.
Other unions at WETA include the Director’s Guild of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.