WHYY employees petition management for union recognition

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A group of employees at WHYY in Philadelphia delivered a petition Wednesday notifying management of their intent to form a union with SAG-AFTRA.

Their proposed bargaining unit would include journalists, producers, on-air talent and others involved in content creation at the public broadcaster, which operates TV and radio stations.

In the petition, signed by more than 80% of the staff in the proposed bargaining unit, the employees asked management to voluntarily recognize the union. 

The petition said WHYY has lost talented employees because of “untenable working conditions,” according to a news release that union organizers posted to Twitter.

“We want to be able to stay and build our careers at WHYY without sacrificing our well-being,” the employees said. 

The organizers also said they want “a work environment that values professional growth and experience, allowing us to commit more deeply to WHYY and ultimately serve our audience better.” 

The full text of the petition, posted on Twitter by WHYY union organizers, said employees seek “fair compensation; opportunities for advancement and professional development; predictable and reasonable work schedules; transparency and a meaningful say in the decisions that affect the direction of our work and our station.”

“We respect the rights of our employees to engage in this process and look forward to discussing with them whether the most beneficial way to do this is through SAG-AFTRA,” WHYY spokesperson Art Ellis said in a statement. “We are interested in finding the best ways to align the interests of all of our employees with those of WHYY in cooperative and constructive ways.”

This story has been updated with details of the union organizers’ petition.

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