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press center                                                                                 en español

Telemundo Repudiates Pledge to Bargain with AFTRA for Spanish Language Performer Contract

NBC/Universal Subsidiary Launches Textbook
 
Anti-Union Intimidation Campaign

Los Angeles, July 11, 2005 – After more than six months of bargaining including the exchange of a number of proposals, representatives of Telemundo – a subsidiary of NBC/Universal – have informed the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) that they do not intend to return to the table to work out a contract for their Spanish-language performers. Simultaneous with their decision to abandon negotiations for an agreement covering entertainment programming, the company began holding captive meetings with performers working on their productions in Miami and handing out leaflets intended to mislead and misinform performers about AFTRA. The meetings purportedly included threats of moving the work out of the country as well as promises to make the improvements sought by AFTRA in bargaining without a union contract – both illegal statements under the National Labor Relations Act. In addition, leaflets produced by the company dismiss the possibility of real gains being achieved by AFTRA, overstate the likelihood of a strike, and encourage performers to talk to management about the union. This notwithstanding the fact that during this process AFTRA has made no promises to performers about what they might get in a contract, nor has the union made any reference to a strike or work stoppage of any kind.

"It is stunning to me that the same company that assured the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that they would not interfere with any individual’s right under federal labor law to support a union is now resorting to such common, union-busting tactics to ensure that these performers don’t exercise that right." stated Rebecca Rhine, Assistant National Executive Director of AFTRA. "I can only surmise that our efforts – both in support of the performers who do this work and in informing the GE Shareholders of the double-standard being applied by NBC/Universal to its Spanish-speaking performers – have touched a nerve. The facts speak for themselves; this company does not want to bargain seriously about applying industry standard terms and conditions to their Spanish-speaking performers. If it did, Telemundo would be spending time at the bargaining table rather than in meetings misleading and intimidating the performers who do this work. AFTRA will continue to invite performers to talk about issues impacting their working lives, despite their now heightened fear of retaliation, while we explore our options including filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board, as well as informing politicians, community groups, and the general public about Telemundo’s regressive actions."

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – affiliated with the AFL-CIO – is a diverse national union representing nearly 80,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games, and the Internet. For more information, visit www.aftra.com.


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