Ireland: NBC is not AFTRA obstacle


NBC Stations president Jay Ireland has told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
that "any suggestion that NBC is obstructionist" regarding its new on-air
Chicago Telemundo Communications Group Inc. employees joining the American Federation of Television and
Radio Artists "is untrue."

Ireland continued to call for a secret ballot under National Labor Relations
Board rules to determine whether AFTRA will represent the WSNS(TV) employees who
joined NBC when NBC took over Telemundo this year.

"This process," Ireland wrote, "was established to protect employees from
improper influence from employers or unions and to otherwise ensure the
integrity of the process. In many instances, the outcome of a secret ballot is
in fact different from what might be expected from a public petition, which is
why the NLRB has shown a preference for a secret-ballot election."

Following meetings with Ireland and with AFTRA officials, the Caucus asked
NBC to recognize AFTRA as
negotiator for on-air employees of newly acquired Telemundo station WSNS(TV)
without a secret-ballot election, based on a petition favoring the union signed
by all nine on-air WSNS staffers. AFTRA said such expressions of support have
been recognized in other markets.