Frustrated that Comcast hasn’t signed a deal with the Writers Guild of America – West (WGAW), even though Comcast writers voted overwhelmingly to unionize in December, WGAW has gone on the offensive.
“Despite what Comcast promised when it was under the microscope of federal merger hearings, it is now clear that they’re not interested in maintaining Hollywood’s union environment. What they’re interested in is the same kind of foot-dragging, strong-arm tactics and deceit they’ve deployed against every effort to unionize elsewhere,” said a statement from two directors of the union.
Comcast has not recognized the results of the union card sign-up and insists that the writers for its shows have to go through a more complicated process for union recognition.
The WGAW statement says Comcast is now part of the “club” of media conglomerates since its acquisition of NBC Universal and needs to accept its role in maintaining the Hollywood talent pool. Instead, the union accused it of trying to “freeload” off of what others have built.
“Comcast thinks it can pull a sleight of hand, labeling some of its writers ‘Comcast,’ and so non-union, when across the hall there is NBC. That may be the way they built the cable company with the worst customer satisfaction ratings in America, but we can’t let it be the way they behave here,” said WGAW directors Chip Johannessen and Patric M. Verrone.