For workers in certain industries who are seeking to improve their compensation and benefits, joining a labor union is a wise course of action. This is especially true in New York where it can be expensive to live and work. Some employers are against their employees either unionizing on their own or joining an established union. Because labor relations can be so complex, it is essential to have a law firm that is experienced with all areas of labor law to help prospective union members and established unions to take the right steps to improve their station.
The technical staff for the television station NY1 is planning a vote to join a union. There are an estimated 70 workers for the station who will vote after an electrical workers’ union has been trying to organize them and gain their membership for months. Editorial staff and on-air personalities are not in the union’s bargaining unit. Those who are voting work on technical matters. They include engineers, video operators, videographers, truck operators and others who work behind the scenes.
A staffer stated that Spectrum, NY1’s parent company, has been adamantly against these workers joining the union and has campaigned against it. Many meetings regarding this issue have been held. The company was successful in preventing news assistants from being included in the bargaining unit. The company is saying that the union – which represents workers from stations throughout the city – will not improve their salary or working conditions. At NY1, starting pay is reportedly $15 per hour. This is considered far from sufficient for people working in New York. Spectrum is currently at a stalemate in a walkout of cable technicians from a separate union, and the dispute has been going on for nearly a year.
Banding together in a union has served many workers well over the years. It can help them receive benefits they would not otherwise get and ensure that their employer treats them well and fairly. One of the key factors with unionizing, however, is to understand labor law and to contact a law firm that is widely experienced in New York law in relation to employer-employee relationships. When thinking about unionizing or joining an existing union, a law firm is crucial.
Source: nydailynews.com, “NY1 technical team set to take union vote as staffers say their pay doesn’t cut it in pricey city,” Ginger Adams Otis, Jan. 27, 2018