Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: August 24, 2011

Guild Signs First Contract Covering News Writing and Promotions for the Internet

Three-Year Deal with CBS Negotiated by Writers Guild of America, West

LOS ANGELES -- On August 17, web writer-producers working in television and radio news, and promotions at CBS studios in the Los Angeles area ratified their first-ever contract with CBS. The three-year agreement negotiated by the WGAW includes increases in minimums and wages, secures grievance procedures, paid vacations, holiday pay, and health and pension benefits. The agreement also provides language outlining job duties and working conditions, as well as discharge and layoff protections with negotiated severance pay.  

“We are proud to represent these talented professionals who write news, promotions, and create special projects for new media at CBS,” said WGAW Representative Lynda Whittaker, who worked closely with the web writer-producers over the past two years. “They showed perseverance and guts in their fight for justice and respect. While the process may have been long, the victory is sweet.”

“I come from a long line of strong union members in my family, and I am proud to vote ‘Union Yes’ on our first WGAW contract,” said KNX radio web writer Danny Frias.

In late July of 2009, the writer-producers voted unanimously to be represented by the WGAW, in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Writers from each L.A. CBS location, together with representatives from the WGAW, negotiated the deal over a 15-month period since then.

“I voted yes on the agreement. We need the protections and respect afforded by a union contract,” said Alan Carter, Steward and CBS web writer-producer.

“We are very excited to be joining our on-air promo peers in becoming part of the WGA. We look forward to this new and prosperous chapter in the Eyelab.” remarked Tammy Kihs, Steward of CBS Eyelab (Promotions and Special Projects).

To celebrate ratification of the new WGAW deal, a series of “Celebration of Solidarity” luncheons hosted by the long-time Guild members of KCAL/KCBS broadcast news, CBS on-air promotions, and KNX radio will be held at each CBS studio location in September.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.