Sen. Bernie Sanders is considered by many to be the true “labor supporter” among the Presidential primary candidates. Sen Bernie Sanders walked the picket line with workers in Iowa. Last year, he joined FairPoint workers on the picket line during their months long strike.
WMUR Channel 9 studio staff Directors and Production Technicians formed a union to improve their wages and working conditions at the Hearst Corporation owned station. The Station is demanding these 22 workers lose their pension simply because they formed a union. There are already 12 other WMUR employees in a Hearst Union Pension Plan that these workers could be moved into, but WMUR and Hearst refuses. They insist on taking away the pensions of the people who put on their daily news shows every day of the year, some of them working for the station for 20 years or more.
In early November, Sanders sent a letter to Jeff Bartlett, President and General Manager of WMUR-TV, hinting that failure to reach an agreement with the IBEW local that represents WMUR production staff could be detrimental to the Presidential Debate that WMUR is sponsoring on December 19th.
In the press release touting Sanders support the IBEW local 1228 stated:
“The Union is in talks with the Democratic National Committee to alert them to both the pension situation and the candidates’ positions of support. The Union is asking for the candidates and the Democratic Party to intervene with ABC to remove WMUR from sponsoring or having any other involvement with the debate, including pre and post-debate interviews.”
Considering that the debate is only two-weeks from Saturday, would this be considered a pre-debate interview?
Tonight the facebook page “Fair Contract with WMUR,” a page created by the WMUR union members, announced that they plan to picket the arrival of Senator Sanders for his “Political Up Close” interview.
“Members of the IBEW Local 1228 will be picketing, at the arrival of Senator Bernie Sanders at WMUR-TV for the taping of Political Close Up. Tomorrow December 4th starting at 8:15 am, please join your brothers and sisters in their fight against Hearst Corporation and WMUR TV.”
What will Senator Sanders do? Will he show up, meet with picketers and then refuse to be interviewed by WMUR until the station resolves this contract dispute?
Be at the WMUR-TV Broadcast Center, 100 South Commercial Street, at 8:15 on December 4, 2015, to see exactly what Senator Sanders will do.