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Union Threatens to Boycott “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”

NEW YORK:A local branch of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians today issued statement today saying members would strike tomorrow night’s NBC special broadcast of the Christmas tree lighting on Rockefeller Center. NABET Local 11 said it would consider doing so to bring the network to the bargaining table.

NABET accused NBC of failing to “bargain fairly with the union that represents nearly 3,000 of the network’s producers, writers and technicians.” The group said negotiations between the network and the union had stalled. NABET-CWA’s previous contract with NBC expired in March, “and there has been very little progress since talks began more than a year ago.”

The union described the network as “increasingly hostile.”

“We can’t let the Grinch at NBC steal another Christmas from thousands of honest working people,” McEwan said in the group’s statement. “This charade must stop. Christmas is supposed to be a time of goodwill, but the network’s management is trying to hide behind their fancy lights while leaving their employees in the dark.”

The local today embarked on an online campaign at http://nbcstolechristmas.comto organize members and deliver text updates. McEwan said the union’s goal was to protect the job security of its members and allow NBC employees into the bargaining unit.

“This would protect NBC’s flexibility by letting non-union employees do technical work, provided it doesn’t become their primary job,” he said.