CBS Union Wants More from Les

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Writers Guild of America East members, including lead negotiator and WGA East executive director Mona Mangan, plan to picket in front of the CBS Broadcast Center in New York Wednesday (1 p.m.-2 p.m.) in advance of the resumption of contract talks Thursday.

The company's contract with news writers and promo writers, editors, graphic artists, desk assistants, and researchers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and Chicago, expired April 1.

Talks began March 15, but ended April 1 without an agreement.

WGA says CBS wants up to 21% in pay cuts, cuts in the number of union jobs, limits on severance, and "draconian cuts" in paid lunch and holidays, among other things.

The workers, including those who help put out the CBS Evening News, were expected to express their dissatisfaction with the cuts, then get back to work.

The rally was christened "Working Harder for Les." The "Les" is a reference to CBS Chairman Les Moonves, who the group says is asking for significant give-backs from the union at the same time he is sharing in the big bucks (they say $160 million) given to Viacom's top three executives

CBS had no comment at press time.

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