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Recall Started : Burbank's Nabet Boss Faces Ouster

October 26, 1987|JAY SHARBUTT | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The strike may be over, but a top executive of the National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians says a bid to oust her from office may get support from members of her own local who were involved in the just-ended strike against NBC.

Carrie Biggs-Adams, whose 2800-member union had been on strike from June 29 until Saturday, is the elected president of NABET's second-largest chapter, the 700-member Local 53 in Burbank.

Although a recall petition seeking to oust her was unrelated to the long walkout, she said, all members of her local must vote on the petition, "and the emotion from the strike will come to play in how people vote."

She said the petition, to be voted on starting Nov. 15, was begun by NABET members at KTTV-TV (Channel 11)--a Fox Broadcasting station--who were unhappy over her local's failure to renew the contract of its business agent.

Results of the vote will be known about three weeks after it begins, she said.

Biggs-Adams, who spoke in a telephone interview Saturday, has been president of Local 53 for 4 1/2 years, and a paid executive of the union for seven years. She had vigorously campaigned against the NBC contract that a majority of the union ratified last week by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

However, the walkout continued because two small NABET units rejected their part of the contract. All 14 of the union's units had to approve it before the strike could end. The union, convinced Friday that NBC wouldn't budge on its offer, asked the two hold-out units to vote again Saturday.

This time, the two units ratified the pact, one a 27-member air- conditioning and building maintenance unit in Biggs-Adams' local, which voted 8 to 6 to approve. Its earlier vote was 8-11 against.

There was considerable pressure on members of that unit to ratify the contract, Biggs-Adams said. Many in her local strongly supported the hold-outs, particularly the engineers, "but they were getting phone calls from elsewhere in the country" urging them to ratify, she said.

An NBC spokeswoman said Saturday that the network and the stations it owns, including KNBC-TV (Channel 4) in Burbank, probably won't be calling back the strikers until the end of this week.

It is not known yet which of 200 NABET members will face pink-slips when they return.

"I personally think they're going to wait and see how many people come back," Biggs-Adams said. "Because a lot of people have decided not to return."

She said she didn't know how many would not return, "but letters of resignation are starting to arrive" at NBC. She said she had received 11 copies of resignation letters, and was notified that 20 other members of her local had told NBC they were going to retire when the strike ended.

Although some observers may feel that NBC defeated the union during the strike by getting concessions on jurisdiction and the hiring-by-the-day employees, Biggs-Adams denied that.

"No, I don't think so," she said. "I've discovered increased strength in the membership. People who weren't even union officers came to the fore and worked terribly hard during the strike."

"They created unity and solidarity in the best sense of the word, and build relationships I think will last in much greater stead than the jurisdiction lost in this negotiation."

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