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Pact Negotiations Broken Off Between NBC, Striking Union

September 02, 1987|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — NBC and union negotiators representing 2,800 producers, writers and technicians on strike against the network for the last nine weeks broke off contract negotiations Tuesday night, government mediators said.

"We've met with both parties all day and into the evening on various times for eight days, and we were not able to resolve the dispute," said Gayle Wineriter of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Wineriter said the government agency will continue to remain in contact with both the network and the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees, but he was not optimistic that any end to the strike was near.

"If it appears that anything can be done, we'll get them back together," he said.

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NABET officials blamed NBC negotiators for breaking off the bargaining, saying they walked out of a bargaining session here shortly before 9 p.m. after the union rejected the company's demand for contract language allowing it to use more non-union workers for covering sports and news events.

"We estimate that would have cost our members a minimum of 150 jobs, and we could not compromise on anything like that," said John Krieger, a NABET spokesman.

McClain Ramsey, NBC spokeswoman in New York, quoted network negotiators as saying the union was offering "old wine in new bottles" and had not shown a willingness to compromise on significant issues.

In Burbank, Chris Hanson, NABET Local 53 secretary, said the breakdown came even though union negotiators "made quite a few concessions, including that they could have daily hires."

The strike began June 29 when NBC workers rejected the company's last offer for a new accord replacing a contract that had expired on March 31.

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