February 10, 1997
For further information:
Melody Knight at 415 398-3160
At a representation election held January 31 by the National Labor Relations Board, 40 employees at KDTV, Channel 14 of the Univision Television Group, chose to be represented by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, Local 51, affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, by a vote of 24 to 7 with 6 challenged ballots.
The "wall to wall" unit includes workers in Engineering, Production, Promotion, News (including On-air personalities and reporters), Traffic and Reception.   Local 51 represents broadcast workers in San Francisco at KGO-TV, KGO-AM, KQED-TV, KQED-FM and, KCNS, as well as the ABC Network throughout the Western United States.
Melody Knight, Local 51 Vice-President, said a chief issue with the KDTV employees is an equitable pay structure, "They just want to be treated fairly; management has made them promises about raises, and then has not followed through."
KDTV is part of the Univision Television Group, which recently became a publicly held company and began selling stock.   Spanish language TV is a significant area of growth within the broadcast industry.  KDTV's newscasts are reaching 28 percent of the 115,000) Bay Area Hispanic households.   "But, the mostly Hispanic work force isn't sharing in this lucrative market, and are paid as little as $11.00 an hour, less than half of what union workers receive in other stations in the Bay Area.", commented Virginia Rodriguez Jones, head of organizing for CWA District 9.  "Many of these workers voted for the union so that their commitment to KDTV and the Latino community can be recognized with some, kind of job security and dignity."
The unionization effort was endorsed in a letter from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement signed by San Francisco and Hispanic community leaders, Supervisor Jose Medina, Police Commissioner Jim Salinas, and LCLAA, President, Frank Martin del Campo.  NABET-CWA members throughout the country sent letters of support, including ones signed by fellow NABET-CWA workers at KMEX and WGBO, the Univision sister stations in LA and Chicago.
"Hopefully the, over 3 to 1 victory margin sends a strong message to management that we are united and serious and serious about negotiating a fair contract as soon as possible" said organizer Brad Jackson.   "We want the opportunity to grow and succeed with KDTV, and a union contract will allow us to participate in that process."