AFTRA Applauds Decision of National
Labor Relations Board.
Chicago, July 2, 2004 -- The professional broadcasters at WGCI-FM
and WGRB-AM Chicago must be included in one collective bargaining
unit according to a decision released yesterday by the National
Labor Relations Board (NLRB.) The election for union representation
by the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA)
is expected to be held this month.
In early 2003 the broadcasters at WGCI-FM and WGCI-AM, now known as WGRB-AM,
approached AFTRA to be their representative for their collective bargaining
unit. In May of 2004, a significant majority of the broadcasters employed
at WGCI FM/WGRB-AM signed union authorization cards designating AFTRA.
San Antonio-based Clear Channel, the corporate owner of the Chicago-based
stations, filed an objection to the election which resulted in a four day
hearing before the NLRB. Clear Channel's position was the two stations were
separate. The NLRB clearly disagreed.
"We are glad that the NLRB has agreed with the broadcasters at WGCI FM/WGRB-AM
that the two stations are truly one operation," said Eileen Willenborg, Executive
Director of the Chicago Local of AFTRA. "Now it is time for Clear Channel to
stop filing objections and let the workers decide in a fair and open election
process, free of intimidation and threats from their employer."
Clear Channel owns seven stations in the Chicago market, including WNUA and
WVAZ, where on-air talent is already represented by AFTRA.
AFTRA is a diverse national union representing 80,000 actors, broadcasters,
recording artists and others who work in television, radio, commercials,
news, music and new media.