Editor’s Note: This is a letter to the editor from Brian Wilson.
My name is Brian Wilson. I am a full-time “Production Assistant” (studio camera, teleprompter, video server and audio operator) at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH. The station is owned by multi-national media giant, Hearst Corporation.
I am writing to inform you (and ask for your support of) an organizing effort that has been underway among a group of production employees at the station over the past 12-plus months.
On February 25th of this year, Directors/TDs, Production Assistants, and Graphic Designers at the station petitioned the NLRB seeking an election for union representation. After an attempt by the company to exclude workers it calls “freelancers” from the bargaining unit failed, the company agreed to an election.
About six weeks after the petition was filed, on April 6th, 2015, a group of 20 eligible workers voted 15-4 in an NLRB-conducted election to be represented by Local 1228 of the IBEW (the same union that already represents Videographers/Editors, Master Control Operators, and microwave/satellite truck operators at WMUR.)
On April 17th, 2015 the NLRB certified IBEW Local 1228 as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit.
NLRB Case: http://www.nlrb.gov/case/01-RC-147033
The station and union have agreed to an initial bargaining session which has been tentatively set for early June.
Through collective bargaining, workers in this unit at WMUR are fighting to improve wages and working conditions, gain job security, and to stabilize and make uniform the conditions of employment which so often have been set in an arbitrary and unequal way.
These workers have seen the substantial improvements achieved by the other two bargaining units at the station and are striving to win a first contract that brings the same level of results.
These employees have also seen the financial success of the station, but do not feel that they have been given the opportunity to share in that success. They deserve fair compensation for their hard work and effort in helping to make WMUR as successful and profitable as it is.
I hope that you will support and stand with these workers and their families as they fight for fairness and to secure a place in a shrinking middle class.
–Brian C. Wilson