Unions Urge “Swift Action” on Gigi Sohn’s FCC Nomination

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The AFL-CIO, the CWA, the IBEW,  the Writers Guild and other major unions have sent a letter to Charles Schumer Senate Majority Leader, Maria Cantwell, Chair, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and other U.S. Senators “strongly” supporting the nomination of Gigi Sohn to be a Commissioner to the Federal Communication Commission.

Sohn was nominated over a year ago on October, 26, 2021 but the full Senate has not yet voted on the nomination. 

The NAB had expressed “serious” concerns about the nomination, citing her involvement as a director of the now defunct streaming service Locast, but said it did not `currently oppose the nomination.' 

Subsequently Sohn told the FCC that she would recuse herself from television broadcast copyright and retrans issues if her nomination for commissioner is approved.

In the letter to the Senate, the unions said they “represent millions of workers in telecommunications, tech, and media as well as most sectors of the US workforce. We write to strongly support Gigi Sohn for the role of Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and urge swift action on her nomination. The FCC needs a fully seated commission in order to make critical decisions during a period of increased federal investment in broadband networks and digital equity initiatives.”

“Gigi Sohn has over 30 years of experience working on communications policy,” the letter continued. “Her meaningful leadership, dedication, and contributions cannot be overstated, as she has been instrumental in the success of many FCC programs, including on the issues of affordability, competition, open internet, modernization of the Lifeline program, and adoption of strong privacy rules for broadband providers. Sohn has also ensured that working people and underrepresented communities are front and center in charting the course for an equitable communications and media ecosystem. During the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, Sohn was a key ally in the fight to protect the jobs of the working families who ultimately ended up being harmed by the merger. Additionally, Sohn supports constructive collaboration with states to ensure effective mapping and oversight of broadband services and infrastructure.”

Sohn’s voice, experience, and expertise are just what the FCC needs,” the unions noted. “Once confirmed, she will continue to be a staunch champion for workers and consumers. Sohn fully understands our complex telecommunications and media landscape, the importance of diversity and inclusion for all people, and will work diligently to ensure all viewpoints are represented in FCC decisions.”

The unions signing the letter included:

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 
  • Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.