Union at KING-TV accuses Belo of bad-faith bargaining

by Nancy Drew, The Stranger

Unionized employees at [Seattle's] KING 5 are asking TV viewers to change the channel during this year's November sweeps. In a letter sent out late last week (on KING 5 stationery), KING 5's International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) write:

"They [KING 5] are currently trying to eliminate an entire segment of IBEW workers from their jobs by not bargaining in good faith. The company and News Director Pat Costello have made it clear they want these union workers out and then have other people double up on their current work responsibilities.... We are feeling the only way to get this Texas company [Belo Corporation] to negotiate like civil Washingtonians, not cowboys, is to boycott KING 5's news during the upcoming November sweeps."

("Sweeps" is the time when ad rates are established for TV stations by surveying how many people are watching each channel.)

Asked to comment on his employees' call for the mass tune-out, News Director Costello said, "We're going to negotiate at the table, not in public."

article originally published at http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=87914.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey