Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: December 15, 2010

Comcast Writers Vote for WGAW Representation

Results Announced by L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES -- Writers on Comcast’s entertainment networks E!, Style, and G4 have voted to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). Tuesday’s secret ballot election was monitored and certified by the office of L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti, and the results were announced by the councilmember today at City Hall.

Writers from Comcast Entertainment Group’s cable networks shows, including The Soup, The Dish, Attack of the Show, and E! News, cheered as Garcetti announced the tally – 46 in favor of WGAW representation, 1 against.

“The results of this election send a clear message – these writers are serious about organizing and want Comcast to sit down with the WGAW to negotiate a contract on their behalf,” said the L.A. City Council President.

Despite being notified of the signing of union authorization cards by more than 80% of its writers, Comcast rejected their request to negotiate with the WGAW immediately, and instead chose to stall the process, saying it preferred an election controlled by the Federal government through the National Labor Relations Board. The writers then decided a representation election was in order.

“As professional writers, we're only asking for what our counterparts at NBC Universal have,” said The Dish writer Penelope Lombard. “We've selected the WGAW to represent us, and we expect Comcast to honor our decision.”

“Comcast made a public statement saying it believed in the sanctity of a secret ballot election and that’s exactly what we’ve participated in,” said The Soup writer Greg Fideler. “Comcast must now do its part and begin talks with the Writers Guild.”

Last week, Comcast writers got a boost from their Writers Guild counterparts at NBC Universal (NBCU) when more than 140 writers with shows airing on NBCU’s broadcast or cable channels or whose shows are produced by NBCU signed a letter supporting the Comcast writers’ request for the company to enter into negotiations with the WGAW. Referring to the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, the letter stated, “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.”

Download a copy of the letter here.

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.