CHICAGO (November 7, 2016) -- SAG-AFTRA on Monday filed two unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of member broadcasters at WEEK and WHOI. Both news stations are operated out of the same location in East Peoria, Ill. and are owned by Quincy Media, Inc. Together with one previously filed charge, there are now three unfair labor practice charges outstanding against the company.
“Quincy Media came into the Peoria market making promises to our community, which they haven’t kept,” said photographer and SAG-AFTRA Bargaining Team member Larry Foulk. “While the station invests in costly set renovations, it’s demanding concessions from its employees during our ongoing negotiations. That’s unfair to these hard-working employees and the local viewers they serve.”
The first charge relates to Quincy’s requirement that employees sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from discussing their own pay with co-workers or anyone else. The second charge was filed because Quincy refuses to honor contract provisions guaranteeing employees the right to two consecutive days off. The final charge was filed when it was discovered that Quincy was paying several employees below the rates required by the union contract.
The SAG-AFTRA contract contains important protections for employees, including journalists, photographers and producers, who work long and irregular hours to investigate and report stories. One such protection guaranteed by the contract is the right of employees to have two consecutive days off each week as opposed to split days off. Quincy has repeatedly ignored this provision of the contract. The company has compounded this violation by asking employees to work longer hours while denying them adequate rest between shifts and paying some of them less than the contractually established minimum salary rates.
“Looks can be deceiving,” said Garry Moore, a SAG-AFTRA shop steward. “Despite the upgrades to the sets and the money they are putting into the building, it appears Quincy is trying to downgrade our rights on the job by violating our contract and asking us to make concessions on everything from time off to overtime.“