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AFTRA Members at CBS3 in Philadelphia Request Federal Mediation

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 10, 2010) – The Philadelphia Local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA, AFL-CIO) – a national labor union representing more than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists – today announced that the AFTRA-covered reporters, anchors, writers and producers of KYW-TV CBS3 in Philadelphia have requested federal mediation in their ongoing contract negotiations with local management for their contract which expired on Oct. 1, 2009. KYW-TV CBS3 is a CBS affiliate station.

AFTRA members at CBS3 are concerned about management's demands for a new contract provision requiring reporters to carry and use cameras in the field, a proposed two-year wage freeze and 10 days of unpaid furlough – while CBS publicly reports increasing profits – and management’s insistence on including non-compete clauses in personal contracts for staff facing salary reductions.

"The company insists on making our members ‘one-man bands,’ and we believe that will seriously compromise the professional standard of journalism our members provide and will diminish the high quality of news and information the public has come to expect from CBS3," said Steve Leshinski, AFTRA Philadelphia Local Executive Director and lead negotiator for AFTRA. "The station management is also looking to reduce salaries for on-air employees of CBS3 while maintaining the right to prevent those employees from working for another station in the market. In this economy, no company should have the right to tell an employee they can't take another job."

AFTRA represents 65 members at the station, and the unit’s latest contract expired on Oct. 1, 2009. Negotiations started in August 2009.

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, broadcasters, 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.