AFTRA Speaks Out at GE Shareholders' Meeting
Demands Industry Standard Contract for Spanish-Language
Performers and Broadcasters at NBC's Telemundo
Los Angeles, April 27, 2005 – At the GE shareholders' meeting held today in Cincinnati, Ohio, Denise Dal Vera, President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) Tri-State Local, read a letter signed by AFTRA National President John P. Connolly to the GE Board of Directors and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI), calling on the GE Board to urge Telemundo to recognize and apply industry-standard terms and conditions in their negotiations with AFTRA covering Spanish-language performers.
On September 20 of this year, GE is slated to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, which recognizes companies that acknowledge the importance of policies that promote economic, environmental and social values – including in the areas of human resources and employee satisfaction. AFTRA’s Assistant National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine noted, “While we applaud GE for this accomplishment, the Company’s carefully cultivated image is not matching up with their practices. The move to permanently institutionalize the disparate treatment being applied to Spanish-language employees at Telemundo who work in news and entertainment programming and their English-language counterparts at NBC is in direct conflict with the basic principles of GE’s newly acquired, and potentially quite profitable, sustainability status. We look to GE to ‘walk the walk’ and promote the social value of fair and equal treatment.”
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.