Peacock Productions has voted in favor of unionizing with the WGA East, a result that comes more than three years after writers and producers at the NBCUniversal reality/nonfiction production subsidiary first cast their ballots.
NBC and Peacock had filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board after the original June 2013 union vote, arguing that the writer-producers are supervisors and therefore not allowed to unionize. The NLRB had impounded the ballots until August 26 of this year, when its board ruled that they are employees as defined by the National Labor Relations Act and have the right to unionize.
The voting result, in which 60% of ballots favored unionization, was a long time coming. Writer-producers first filed a motion for union election with the NLRB in October 2012.
“While NBC has been dragging its feet the past three years, nonfiction workers have won union elections at New York’s biggest production companies. We are transforming this industry. Now producers and APs at Peacock can join in the progress we’re making towards reasonable working conditions and sustainable careers,” said David Van Taylor, a producer at Peacock Productions. “It’s clear the majority of creative professionals in this industry are behind us. Peacock workers now expect to negotiate a contract that protects their rights, just as Writers Guild contracts have protected the rights of NBC’s fiction writers for years.”
Said WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson: “The writer-producers at Peacock join their colleagues across the nonfiction TV industry who have joined with the WGAE to unionize, to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will enable them to build sustainable careers doing this work. It is past time for NBCU to stop playing lawyerly games, to honor the decision of Peacock’s employees to engage in collective bargaining and to sit down at the table with us to hammer out an agreement.”