|Comcast Writers Gain Support for WGA Coverage
NBC Universal Writers Back Their Colleagues at E!, Style, and G4 Networks
LOS ANGELES -- Writers on Comcast’s entertainment networks E!, Style, and G4 got a boost today from their counterparts at NBC Universal (NBCU). Writers with shows airing on NBCU’s broadcast or cable channels or whose shows are produced by NBCU have signed on to a letter supporting the Comcast writers’ request for the company to enter into negotiations with the Writers Guild of America, West. In the letter the NBCU writers assert, “We believe that Comcast Entertainment Group’s writers should have what we have, a Writers Guild of America (WGA) contract that provides portable pension and health benefits, fair payment for reuse and resale of their material, reasonable minimums and other appropriate employment terms.”
Despite the signing of union authorization cards by more than 80% of its writers, Comcast has refused to enter into talks with the Guild about the terms of a contract. The shows to be covered are Attack of the Show, Chelsea Lately, E! News, E! Specials, Fashion Police, G4 Specials, The Dish, The Soup, Web Soup, and X-Play.
“The vast majority of us have made it clear we want WGA representation but, there is no way to reach a deal that is fair to both sides if the company won't bargain with us,” said The Soup writer Greg Fideler.
The letter goes on to state, “If the Comcast-NBCU merger is approved, we will all be generating revenue for the same company. On February 25th, 2010, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, saying: ‘And so one of our commitments upfront is we hope to continue the good relations with the guilds and with the unions that NBC Universal has.’ Therefore, we call on Comcast Entertainment Group to live up to its pledge and immediately recognize and negotiate with the Writers Guild of America, West.”
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.