Cable giant Comcast Corp. is currently awaiting government approval for its $30 billion merger deal with NBC Universal. The FCC and antitrust regulators with the Justice Department are currently reviewing the deal and deciding what restrictions they should impose on the merger in order to keep competition alive among programming distribution companies.
Comcast potentially has another obstacle in its path before it can complete its merger. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently asking Comcast to sit down at the negotiation table and work out employment contracts for writers on Comcast’s cable-network TV shows. The WGA is trying to unionize workers in new media, cable and reality TV shows, but the company has resisted.
Comcast responded to the WGA’s call for negotiations by saying that what the union is asking for is unfair to employees and that the employees should be able to vote anonymously for or against unionization. Comcast also asked the National Labor Relations Board to oversee any voting on WGA representation by writers on Comcast-owned network shows.
The WGA has not yet called for a labor action, but the union has been increasing the pressure on Comcast. More than 100 NBC Universal writers signed a letter that was released by the WGA. The letter said that the NBC Universal writers were in support of their soon-to-be colleagues and believed they should be offered a fair WGA employment contract.
Writers seek labor contract on Comcast shows (Los Angeles Times)