CBS News Writers May Strike

CBS now has the potential double whammy of having its news writers on strike--on the heels of the two-week-old TV program writers' strike. After working without a contract for two years, over 80% of the Writers Guild of America employees at CBS TV and radio news operations have given the approval to strike.

CBS News writers haven't had a pay raise in three years. The WGA says the last CBS proposal--which the union rejected--was for a 2.2% increase for TV and network radio WGA members and a 1.48% raise for local radio WGA members.

CBS also would like to downgrade some union writing jobs at some radio stations to non-union work. Overall, CBS wants to put local radio personnel on a lower wage scale than CBS' national radio and television writers.

The two sides have not met since January 2007.

Perhaps sensing some leverage due to the TV program writers' walkout, Patric Verrone, president of WGA-West, said in a release: "CBS news writers deserve a good contract, and this vote is long overdue proof that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve it. Their fellow writers of TV, film and new media, who know firsthand what a vote like this can mean, stand behind them in their efforts."



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