NEW YORK — The Directors Guild of America said Wedesday that executives of NBC, already struck by a major broadcast union, have been telling guild members that the network will make a "deal" with the DGA, but that the only thing NBC negotiators have done so far is "threaten the guild."
The assertion, concerning contract talks for network staff directors, came in a guild message to members and was denied by NBC, which was struck June 29 by 2,800 members of the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians.
The Directors Guild statement was issued as its negotiators and those of NBC, CBS and ABC held their second day of talks here on a new contract covering about 1,000 staff directors and others at the networks and 14 network-owned TV stations.
"NBC vice presidents and other management personnel have been telling our members that NBC will make a deal with the guild and . . . will 'give' on seniorities and jurisdictions," the guild said.
Job security and jurisdiction are the major issues in the network staff contract talks, the DGA has said.
But the guild statement went on to say that "NBC has made absolutely no movement at the bargaining table whatsoever other than to threaten the guild. Management is trying to split our ranks with fictitious promises."
A guild spokesman declined to elaborate on the statement. McClain Ramsey, an NBC spokeswoman, said she found it "a bit confusing" because negotiations aimed at a settlement are going on and will continue here today.
The idea, she said, "is to try to come up with a mutually acceptable agreement . . . and that's what they're doing."
The Directors Guild statement seemed to suggest that NBC, to avoid further disruption beyond its NABET strike, was willing to negotiate a new contract with the guild unilaterally.
Although Ramsey said that each network has the option of doing that, NBC's chief labor attorney, Day Krolick III, said that NBC is not negotiating apart from CBS and NBC, and has no plans to hold separate talks with the guild.
The negotiations with the networks are separate from those in Sherman Oaks, Calif., between the Directors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, covering the work of union members in the production of films and TV entertainment programs. They are scheduled to meet again today. The directors have imposed a deadline of 6 p.m. PDT Friday for some positive movement, threatening a walkout if there isn't.
Rick Glaub, spokesman for the guild's network staff-contract talks here, declined to say if there is a similar deadline for the networks.
The DGA's national board will meet Saturday in Los Angeles to consider its next move on both fronts.
A guild strike would severely cripple TV and motion picture production, as well as affect news and sports operations of the three networks.