CHICAGO (February 17, 2017) -- SAG-AFTRA is celebrating the settlement of two unfair labor practice charges that it brought to the National Labor Relations Board against Quincy Media, Inc.
The company operates WEEK and HOI News, two broadcast television stations in East Peoria, Ill. The charges included one for Quincy failing to honor a contract provision guaranteeing employees the right to two consecutive days off and unlawfully prohibiting employees from discussing their wages, a guaranteed right under federal law. SAG-AFTRA brought the charges on behalf of member broadcasters and media professionals at WEEK and HOI News.
The settlement requires the company to post a notice for 60 days in the lunchroom and the newsroom of WEEK and HOI. Quincy must also rescind language in individual employment agreements that unlawfully prohibits employees from discussing their wages and stop scheduling employees to have split days off as opposed to consecutive days off.
“Quincy Media, Inc. has consistently broken its promises to its viewership and the employees who help bring them their news in East Peoria,” said Garry Moore, a SAG-AFTRA shop steward. “This settlement sends a strong rebuke to the company that it cannot continue its unfair labor practices.”
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. SAG-AFTRA’s review of individual employee agreements authorized under the union contract revealed that those agreements illegally prohibited employees from discussing their wages in violation of federal law.
“SAG-AFTRA will continue to fight for a fair contract for its members at WEEK and HOI News, and will vigorously fight any violations of its existing agreements,” said Mary Cavallaro, chief broadcast officer, SAG-AFTRA. “This settlement shows that the law is on our side. We hope that Quincy Media, Inc. will see this as an opportunity to move forward with a fair contract.”
SAG-AFTRA still has one outstanding charge against Quincy pending before the National Labor Relations Board. That charge relates to the company’s failure to abide by the minimum wage scale in the SAG-AFTRA contract. A hearing on this charge is set for May 2, 2017 in the NLRB’s Peoria office.
Meanwhile, negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and Quincy have stalled. As a result, union member broadcasters at WEEK and HOI News have been working under an expired contract since March 31, 2016.