Employees at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh Vote for AFTRA

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Employees at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh Vote for AFTRA

PITTSBURGH (July 16, 2010) — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA, AFL-CIO) - a national union of more than 70,000 professional performers, recording artists and broadcast journalists - announced today that in an election held on June 30, 2010, the on-air employees at Hearst Station WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh voted for representation by AFTRA. The election results were certified on July 14 by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The on-air unit includes 23 anchors and reporters, including both weatherpersons and sports announcers. The election marks the return of the unit to AFTRA after a decertification in 1997. One long-time reporter at the station commented, "Times have really changed. It's a different company now and my hours, schedule and rights at work have gotten worse."

John Haer, AFTRA Pittsburgh Local Executive Director and chief negotiator for the union in the negotiations, said, "The employees at WTAE-TV decided they needed a real voice to support them as professional journalists and help them deal with what they considered arbitrary changes at their workplace. AFTRA is the voice for professional journalists working in today's evolving broadcast industry, and we are very pleased to welcome the employees at WTAE-TV back to AFTRA Pittsburgh."

The election and successful NLRB certification paves the way for negotiations to commence between AFTRA and Hearst for a collective bargaining agreement covering the 23 new AFTRA-covered employees. Negotiations are expected to begin later this year.

About AFTRA
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.