In The News
Union files against Journal Communications
Profoundly disappointed after a track record of successful contract negotiations dating back 70 years, IBEW Local 715 filed unfair labor practices against Journal Communications in May and reached out for support from other workers at the company and in the Milwaukee community.
The local, famously known as Wisconsin Broadcasting Engineers, can fairly say it has not seen such an eruption of bad-faith bargaining at the company in seven decades.
That is how long it and the Journal company in its various incarnations have negotiated bargaining agreements on behalf of the engineering bargaining unit, which now includes 44 broadcast engineers at Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ-TV, WTMJ-DT, WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM.
While negotiations on a successor contract were ongoing in April, the company warned the local of a need to drastically reduce the workforce – while it was actually posting engineering jobs in Milwaukee, the local says. The company also unilaterally implemented portions of its bargaining proposal though the legal requirement is to let good-faith negotiations proceed.
This led the local and Christopher Albrecht, president, business manager and financial secretary, to file charges of unfair labor practices with Region 30 of the National Labor Relations Board.
Local 715, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said it was time to alert the community at large to Journal Communications’ “heavy-handed and ill-founded tactics.” (It is hard to envision the company’s own radio and TV stations giving its behavior much play.)
After seven decades at the company’s radio and TV outlets, the local’s situation represents a turnaround, Albrecht notes, but the local will not back away from either achieving a voluntary bargaining agreement or fighting in the courts or at the NLRB to impose an order.
The local has copies of the unfair labor practices and other details at its office at 633 S. Hawley Rd., Suite 107, Milwaukee, WI 53214-1948, phone (414) 479-0580, or email email@example.com.