Yesterday it was announced that unionized workers at WMUR would be picketing the arrival of Senator Bernie Sanders at the WMUR studios this morning. True to their word, workers showed up holding signs stating the WMUR and Hearst Media Corporation are refusing to negotiate with the newly formed union.
Sources tell the NH Labor News that Senator Sanders arrived and met with the workers and asked what he could do to help them. The union discussed, in great detail, what their issues are and that all they want is to get back to the negotiating table to resolve their contract dispute.
The main issue for the union is that WMUR and Hearst Media are refusing to negotiate the workers pension, saying the pension is “off the table” and have failed to schedule timely negotiations.
The union also asked for Senator Sanders to have a “sit down” with WMUR President and General Manager, Jeff Bartlett, to schedule more timely bargaining sessions and to have an open discussion about adding the 22 workers to the WMUR pension program already in effect for other WMUR employees.
Senator Sanders said he would go in to the WMUR studios and request a meeting with Bartlett.
IBEW 1228 Business Agent, Fletcher Fischer told us that he was pleased with the results of the informational picket.
“Senator Sanders was very helpful and we are grateful,” said Fischer.”Bartlett is now open to negotiating all of our issues. We have provided him multiple dates within the next two weeks and now we are just waiting for the Hearst Corporation to meet with us.”
There is still the looming issue of whether or not Sanders and Hillary Clinton – who has previously voiced her support of the WMUR union members – will boycott the WMUR debate or if the DNC will pull WMUR’s debate completely if the contract dispute is not resolved by the December 19th debates. .
Images below curtesy of IBEW 1228.