CHICAGO — The on-air talent at Spanish-language radio station La Ley 107.9 (WLEY-FM) in Chicago voted overwhelmingly in favor of having SAG-AFTRA serve as their exclusive collective bargaining representative. The election was conducted on Friday, Sept. 28, by the National Labor Relations Board.
The new bargaining unit will be made up of eight employees performing on-air services, including, hosts, announcers, mixers, DJs and other on-air services for the station. This is the latest station owned by Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), the largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company in the United States, to vote to join SAG-AFTRA. In August 2016, 97.9 La Raza (KLAX) and Mega 96.3 (KXOL) in Los Angeles voted overwhelmingly to form a collective bargaining unit represented by SAG-AFTRA.
“On behalf of our SAG-AFTRA membership, I want to welcome the courageous media professionals at La Ley in Chicago. You have sent a powerful message to SBS,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “SAG-AFTRA is committed to standing with and supporting you in your fight for fair wages, benefits and workplace respect throughout the industry.”
SBS operates Spanish-language radio stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico and Miami, and owns MEGA TV.
“With the protections of a union, employees gain respect in the workplace. The employer is speaking with us because they see us united; it’s best to be united. Being a union member gives you strength and makes all the difference,” said La Ley sports commentator Elizabeth Jiménez.
SAG-AFTRA represents Spanish-speaking broadcasters and journalists across the country, including Univision in Los Angeles (KMEX), New York (WXTV and Radio WADO) and San Francisco (KDTV); and Telemundo in New York (WNJU/TV), Washington, D.C. (WZDC-CD), Philadelphia (WUSI/TV) and Chicago (WSNS/TV).
The successful vote is the latest milestone in SAG-AFTRA’s campaign to organize the Spanish-language media industries. Under the hashtag #SAGAFTRAUNIDOS and through its Siempre Contigo campaign, the union has been working with many of those employed by Spanish-language radio and television to advocate for fair treatment and improved working conditions.
For more information on this ongoing effort, visit: sagaftra.org/siemprecontigo