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NABET-CWA Local 21
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians  - Communication Workers of America



Peter Hutchins                                              William Murray

WRGB-TV Chief Steward                           Staff Representative

(518) 248-3198                                            (202) 316-8243



For Immediate Release:   February 10, 2006


Teacher's Union President Declines Interview On CBS 6 News. Cites Labor Situation At Station As Reason.


Albany, NY - February 10, 2006.   William Ritchie, President of the Albany Public School Teachers' Association, turned down a request  by a CBS 6 News reporter for an interview on Wednesday, February 8th.  Ritchie said he would not appear on the air to show support for NABET-CWA employees at the station, who have been working without a contract since September.  "When I read the WRGB management offer, one word sprang to mind: union-busting.  We want no part of it," said Ritchie. 


Ritchie is the latest union official to show solidarity with NABET-CWA employees.  Previously the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) excluded WRGB-TV/CBS 6 from it's media buy.  In a letter to CBS 6 General Manager Robert Furlong,  PEF president Roger Benson stated "We chose not to advertise on CBS 6 in support of NABET-CWA Local 21 and it's "Turn Off CBS 6" campaign.  PEF is encouraging it's more than 15,000 members who work in the Capital District to stop watching CBS 6."  Benson also will not entertain interview requests from CBS 6 until after contract negotiations are settled.


CSEA president Danny Donohue issued this statement:  "CSEA has been aware of the difficult negotiations between WRGB-TV and its NABET Local for some time.  We have chosen not to air CSEA advertising on WRGB until the situation is resolved as an expression of support for the employees."


In a letter to station management dated January 26, 2006, Denis Hughes, President of the New York State AFL-CIO writes, "As negotiations continue, Local 21 will have the full support and resources of the AFL-CIO at its disposal.  The labor movement will stand united in its support of its union brothers and sisters in NABET-CWA."


Last week United University Professions (UUP) decided not to purchase advertising time on CBS 6 for its annual legislative advertising campaign.  UUP President William Scheuerman said advertising money in the Albany market would be reallocated to other media outlets to show support for NABET-CWA employees at the station.


CBS 6, owned by Freedom Communications of Irvine, California, is proposing 15% pay cuts for many union members and turning some full time positions into part time.  It has already frozen the pensions of some employees.  NABET-CWA represents photographers, engineers and technicians at the station.