It was in 1997 that WTAE on-air talent voted to decertify their association with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) as their union. According to a Post-Gazette article, the Pittsburgh local, earlier this week, petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to represent WTAE’s 25 on-air employees. In order for this to happen, AFTRA needed to have the support of at least 30% of those who would be joining the union. That happened “by an overwhelming majority” according to John Haer, executive director of AFTRA Pittsburgh.
Haer said that employees of the station contacted AFTRA Pittsburgh who expressed the need for a voice in operations – something that’s changing within the industry. He also feels that management could be a reason for the decision as well. WTAE General Manager Rick Henry, who has been with the station since 2002 was unaware of the filing and had not seen a copy of the position.
Employees are expected to vote on acceptance of union representation in the next six weeks.