NBC journalists walk out over unfair labor practices

NBC journalists went on a 24-hour strike on Feb. 9 following unsuccessful contract negotiations with the company’s management.

Feb 10, 2023

Over 200 employees from NBC News, MSNBC and The Today Show staged a walkout on Thursday, Feb. 9 to protest NBC management’s bargaining practices and recent layoffs. Around 50 employees picketed in front of NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in support of fair contract negotiations after more than two years at the bargaining table.

The NBC News Guild claimed that after over 1,000 days of bargaining, they have only reached nine tentative agreements despite submitting 40 proposals. They also alleged that NBC has bargained in bad faith throughout the process.

Protesting workers hold signs and listen to someone speaking facing away from the camera.
Unionized N.B.C workers protest outside studio headquarters. One sign reads “Two years too long,” and another reads “Nothing But Criminals.”
Protesting workers cheer in front of studio headquarters.

Protesters held signs reading “Karma’s gonna track you down” and “Would’ve could’ve should’ve, followed the law” and “Two years too long.”

Three women pose with signs advocating for a fair contract.
NBC TODAY employees Danielle Campoamor, Sarah Jacoby and Nicole Collazo Santana at the picket line.

According to a statement by NBC Guild, NBC illegally lowered the salaries of several union members without bargaining with the union in 2020, resulting in a two-and-a-half year long legal battle with the National Labor Relations Board. The News Guild triumphed after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected NBC’s appeal. As a result of the litigation, the court required NBC to pay back almost $400,000 in wages to employees who had been affected by the salary cuts.

A woman holds a large check walking away from a crowd at N.B.C headquarters.
A large check resting behind metal bars.

The NBC News Guild carried a large check, symbolizing the money NBC returned after the NLRB battle.

Earlier this year, NBC News management laid off seven union employees without advance notice or case. In addition, NBC told another team of journalists that they were no longer protected by the union without first bargaining with the Guild, according to a Guild member. In response, the News Guild filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the NLRB.

During the walkout, News Guild leaders led chants such as “What’s appalling? Bosses stalling” and “What’s Disgusting? Union Busting.”

Right: A man raises a fist and holds a sign reading “Nothing But Criminals” in front of N.B.C headquarters. Left: A man wearing an N.B.C Guild shirt shouts, raising his arm in the air.

“It’s really disheartening that a company that holds itself up as a beacon of truth will not actually engage in good faith with their workers,” said Andrew Stern, a video reporter and producer at NBC News. “We want NBC to stop breaking the law.”

A city official speaks into a microphone with signs in the background.

“Companies really show who they are when they fire people without cause when they’ve got a union organizing party in place,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. “That’s an unfair labor practice. I respect your fight like hell to defend and demand your rights.”

A woman shouts into a microphone in front of studio headquarters.

“News needs to change,” said Carlin McCarthy, a segment producer at NBC News NOW. “It can’t just be the guys at the top taking advantage of everyone who’s working so hard, whose working overtime was putting them in dangerous situations — often without health and safety standards, which they still have not given us. We do incredible work every day in that building and we deserve the protections that will fit that work.”

A man wearing a The NewsGuild jacket shouts into a microphone.

“Journalists hold power to account, and that starts by holding our own employer to account,” said Jon Schleuss, the president of the NewsGuild-CWA. “Our mission is to uphold the legacy of NBC News while empowering and protecting those who will build its future.”

A man holds a sign reading “On U.L.P. strike” in front of studio headquarters.

“I like my job and I respect my direct managers, but NBC executives have decided that we are not worthy of their respect,” said Tate James, a video editor at NBC News and chair of NBC’s News Guild. “It feels like shit.”

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *