WHQR staffers announce intent to unionize

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A group of staffers at WHQR in Wilmington, N.C., announced Monday their intent to unionize. 

The group posted in a statement on Twitter that they plan to unionize with the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The staffers at the public radio station said in the statement that they aim to create “a better, healthier and more transparent workplace.”

“As WHQR grows and develops, strengthening its news service to reach broader parts of the community, we seek an active role in this shared future,” the staff said in the statement. “We face questions of fair compensation, particularly as the region’s strong economic growth leaves middle class workers like us struggling to find affordable housing. Low wages drive turnover, and we want to invest in our colleagues, and retain them as valued members of the team.”

The union expects that the unit would include seven employees, according to a member of the organizing committee who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. Staffers covered would be in both on- and off-air positions, such as a development associate, tech personnel, hosts and reporters. The committee member called it “a wall to wall unionization effort.” 

“We hope that the solidarity between staff in different departments can show the strength of our convictions, and hope management will voluntarily recognize the union in good faith,” the committee member said. 

The employees are seeking voluntary recognition from the station’s management. Station Manager Kevin Crane has not responded to Current’s request for comment. 

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that the unionization effort will include development associates. The station has one development associate.

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