WASHINGTON – Following WMUR’s decision to not move negotiations forward with IBEW Local 1228 ahead of next Saturday’sDemocratic debate, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley issued the following joint statement:
“The DNC and the NHDP are excited about next Saturday’s Democratic presidential candidates debate in New Hampshire, and look forward to a spirited performance by all of our candidates.
Regrettably, as a result of WMUR’s unwillingness to move forward on scheduling negotiations between the Hearst Corporation and Production Department employees represented by IBEW Local 1228 prior to the debate, we will no longer include WMUR as a co-sponsor of the debate, and their talent will not be participating in any way.
The right for workers to form and organize a union is a key principle of the Democratic Party, and is key to ensuring the economic safety of the American people by protecting their rights and benefits. It is the right to organize that made it possible for the middle class in America to grow over the past century, and it is as important today as it has ever been to keep our economic growth as a nation moving forward.
We remain confident in our strong partnership with the ABC network and know that our Democratic candidates will have a robust debate, with a focus on the issues that matter most to hard working Americans across the country.”
Updates from WMUR, IBEW, and NH AFL-CIO below.
Jeff Bartlett, President and General Manager of WMUR-TV, issued this statement in response to the UNION LEADER:
“Needless to say, we’re disappointed that the efforts of the 140 WMUR employees in helping organize this debate will now be undone. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to cover the debate, and the candidates and campaigns. As for the negotiations with this particular union, we will continue with the policy we’ve followed with the many prior union negotiations we’ve successfully concluded – to negotiate in good faith, and directly and not through third parties. To that end, we have a mutually agreed-upon date for another meeting, which has been scheduled and confirmed for some two weeks now.”
It is unclear what future negotiations Bartlett is referring to. The fact is that no negotiations were scheduled prior to Senator Sander’s meeting with Jeff Bartlett on December 4th.
IBEW Applauds DNC Decision to Drop WMUR Sponsorship of Next Debate
IBEW leaders are applauding the decision of the Democratic National Committee and the New Hampshire Democratic Party to drop television station WMUR as a co-sponsor of the next Democratic presidential debate scheduled for December 19.
“The right to collectively bargain has been a key part of every Democratic Party platform for more than a half a century,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “WMUR management’s refusal to meet in good faith with its employees stands in gross violation of that principle so I’m pleased that DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and N.H. Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley have taken this step.”
Nearly two dozen members of IBEW Local 1228 have been resisting efforts to strip them of their retirement benefits. Management has ignored the union’s request for negotiations.
All three Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders – have called on WMUR, which is owned by Hearst Media, to hold negotiations before the scheduled debate.
“We’re grateful for the support we’ve gotten from the DNC and from the candidates themselves,” said Local 1228 Business Manager Fletcher Fischer. “We hope this puts us one step further towards a fair resolution of the issue.”
(This update is also a stand alone post via this link: http://wp.me/s2yHP6-50346)
The NH AFL-CIO Praises DNC & NHDP’s Decision To Pull WMUR Sponsorship
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President, Glenn Brackett’s statement on DNC & NHDP’s decision to remove WMUR as a co-sponsor of the December 19th Democratic Debate in Manchester:
Hooksett – Glenn Brackett, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO issued the following statement in support of the Democratic National Committee and the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s decision to remove WMUR as a sponsor of the December 19th Democratic Debate due to WMUR’s refusal to negotiate in good faith with their workers.
“I am proud of our brothers and sisters of IBEW 1228 for standing up for their rights as WMUR workers. I am grateful to the DNC, New Hampshire Democratic Party, and the Presidential candidates for their decision to stand with New Hampshire workers and hold Hearst Corp. accountable for their refusal to negotiate in good faith with their employees. I would like to thank DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz and NHDP chair Ray Buckley for their support throughout this endeavor. The New Hampshire AFL-CIO would also like to thank Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley for the statement he released yesterday calling on WMUR to be removed as a sponsor of this debate.
Although we regret the Hearst Corporation’s repeated unwillingness to move contract negotiations forward with their employees, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and its fellow brothers and sisters in organized labor look forward to the upcoming debate and the opportunity to see three great candidates make their case to New Hampshire, and working men and women across the country.”