New York– A National Labor Relations Board judge has issued a decision to certify the results of last December’s election making the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) the Union representing employees of ITV Studios in New York. The WGAE has called upon the production company to honor the ruling and begin immediate contract negotiations. The Administrative Law Judge handed down his decision upholding the election results late last week, ending more than nine months of legal foot dragging by the company. The UK-owned ITV Studios is responsible for the nonfiction hit “Buried Treasure” for Fox and are in production on the U.S. version of the hit crime series “Prime Suspect.”
“We urge ITV Studios to recognize the election results and join us at the negotiating table immediately. The judge’s decision makes clear what we have all known since last year, that the WGAE represents the employees who write the company’s shows,” Lowell Peterson, Executive Director, WGAE said. “It would be in everyone’s best interest for ITV to start addressing employee concerns, such as paid healthcare and pensions, instead of continuing a futile effort to delay the election results and prevent the collective bargaining process from moving forward.”
ITV Studios campaigned actively against the Union but a majority of the eligible voters cast their secret ballots in favor of the WGAE in December 2010. Since then, the company has used various legal maneuvers to delay the certification – spending many tens of thousands of dollars to challenge ballots and to file objections (which the judge has rejected). Employers engage in these tactics to frustrate the election process and to wear employees down, hoping that this will weaken the union and thwart collective bargaining. To read the text of the judge’s decision, click here.
The WGAE Non-Fiction Writers and Producers United campaign is an effort by hundreds of creativeprofessionals in non-fiction TV to win the benefits, pay and respect they deserve. In the last year, the WGAE has won union elections at four major production companies to begin the collective bargaining process. The campaignis also actively working to see that labor law is followed, and overtime is paid.