WBGO staffers form union

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A group of staffers at WBGO in Newark, N.J., have formed a bargaining unit following a card check agreement between management and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. 

A third-party mediator counted the cards, which were collected in September from staff who support the union. The employees needed a simple majority to form the union. Their petition for unionization garnered signatures from more than 70% of employees who are eligible for the bargaining unit under SAG–AFTRA, according to a Friday press release from the union. 

In their petition, the staffers said they are demanding “accountability, transparency and integrity from our employer. We seek transparency and equity in compensation. We want all of our colleagues protected — from our youngest workers to the most senior staffers. Most importantly, as WBGO grows and changes, we hope to foster a culture in which workers feel safe, trusted and appreciated, where our ideas are recognized and our concerns are respected.” 

The bargaining unit consists of 22 employees who work in content creation roles such as producers, hosts, anchors and reporters, SAG-AFTRA said in the release. 

“We’re looking forward to beginning to have discussions on ways that we can make WBGO stronger and more effective,” Robert Ottenhoff, interim CEO of WBGO, told Current. “Many of our listeners, many of our partners are members of unions, so we look forward to finding ways to make WBGO a great place to work and a stronger organization.” 

“We fully support them in their mission to fight for a fair contract, and we look forward to building this new relationship with WBGO content creators and their listening community,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in the release. “Our strength is in our unity.”

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