Los Angeles (Dec. 21, 2015) -- Friday, producers on Chicago Tonight at WTTW-TV in Chicago voted overwhelmingly to join 160,000 media and entertainment professionals in choosing SAG-AFTRA as their union. Produced for broadcast and the Internet, Chicago Tonight is one of the most-respected nightly news programs in Chicago. The full- and part-time producers working on the show voted to become union members at a National Labor Relations Board election.
The producers of Chicago Tonight had tremendous support from their SAG-AFTRA colleagues at the station and the members of the SAG-AFTRA Broadcast Steering Committee, many of whom signed a petition in support of this unit at their meeting earlier this month.
During their organizing campaign, the producers created a support petition for union recognition that they delivered to station management. The petition read in part: “We are dedicated to the mission of WTTW in order to ensure the highest-quality content for the diverse communities of Chicago. We play a vital role in its success and we believe we should have meaningful input into our role in the program’s future. We believe this can best be accomplished through a formal collective-bargaining process and by forming a union best represented by SAG-AFTRA.”
“Producers at Chicago Tonight look forward to exercising the same rights to collective bargaining currently enjoyed by other union members already working at WTTW, including the on-air talent, engineers and directors," said the WTTW Producers Unit in a statement.
After management refused to recognize their petition of union support, SAG-AFTRA filed the petition with the National Labor Relations Board on December 1, 2015.
The Chicago Tonight staff joins a large family of local Chicago news and broadcast members working under SAG-AFTRA contracts at more than 20 local radio and television stations, as well as the growing list of public media outlets nationwide electing to join the union.