UPDATE: Atlas Media asserts in response to the Writers Guild of America East’s filing an unfair labor claim that an “overwhelming majority” of the company’s producers this week petitioned management to remove WGA East as their bargaining representative. “As required by law,” Atlas said, it “withdrew recognition from the WGA, effective immediately.” Atlas Media EVP-General Manager Jeanne McHale-Waite said that the petition made clear that the majority of producers wish to bargain directly with Atlas.
From the company’s statement:
Upon notification from Atlas Media that it has withdrawn recognition in accordance with the law, rather than respecting the clear wishes of Atlas Media employees, the WGA immediately filed an unfair labor practice charge with Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board contesting the withdrawal. Atlas Media is confident that this administrative charge, which contains no specific factual allegations, is entirely without merit.
PREVIOUSLY:Atlas Media is a New York-based nonfiction producer whose current on-air shows include Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, which earlier this year was renewed for a second season. The WGA East has been in negotiations with Atlas and now has turned up the heat with the filing. “Atlas Media Corporation is operating as if labor law does not exist in NYC,” said Justin Molito, Organizing Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “They have repeatedly violated laws, including misclassifying employees as independent contractors and neglecting to pay overtime. Now, they are continuing this pattern of lawbreaking by coercing and intimidating employees in order to try and bust their union.” WGAE accuses Atlas of proposing limited subsidies for a health benefit plan that falls “below what creative professionals deserve”.
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