SAG-AFTRA, the California Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor have joined together in demanding that Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) engage in good faith bargaining with its on-air employees who face unfair treatment by the company.
“It is appalling that in this country and in this day and age SBS, one of the largest Spanish-language media and entertainment companies in America, would terminate employees who are fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions and human dignity,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “This employer has thus far ignored their obligation to bargain an agreement that will improve working conditions for its on-air employees, some of whom were paid less than minimum wage. We are not done. We will continue to fight on behalf of La Raza and La Mega’s on-air employees to win the reinstatement of the eight employees unlawfully terminated for their union activities, and to negotiate a fair contract that will improve their livelihoods and protect jobs. We thank the California Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor for their support. We are always stronger together.”
SAG-AFTRA is fighting for the rights of unionized on-air performers at SBS’s two popular L.A. radio stations – La Raza (KLAX/KXOL – 97.9 FM) and La Mega (96.3 FM). La Raza and La Mega are the first Spanish-language stations to organize in Los Angeles after its on-air performers voted overwhelmingly to join SAG-AFTRA on August 1, 2016. Since the vote, SBS has failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union and has continuously stifled conversations with SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining unit. The company has refused multiple times to bargain over wages. The union is also urging SBS to resolve pending unfair labor charges filed against the company; charges that include SBS’ unlawful termination of eight employees in retaliation for their union activities
“Our conversations with this company have been unnecessarily difficult and we intend to move forward with the goals our members have set for SBS employees,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “This is just the beginning and we will continue to pursue this effort until these employees receive a contract that both addresses and ameliorates their concerns.”
Employees at La Raza and La Mega chose to organize due to ongoing systemic and endemic abuses at both stations. These include being paid less than the legally mandated minimum wage, denying meal breaks and access to bathrooms during live and remote events, denying overtime in violation of California law, exempting employees paid below wage threshold, denying cell phone reimbursements, and failing to provide payment for talent endorsement fees. Together with La Raza and La Mega, SBS owns and operates 20 radio stations and six television stations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Los Angeles is the No. 1 Spanish-language radio market.
SAG-AFTRA represents Spanish-speaking broadcasters and journalists across the country, including Univision in Los Angeles (KMEX), New York (WXTV and Radio WADO) and San Francisco (KDTV), and Telemundo in New York (WNJU/TV), Philadelphia (WUSI/TV), and Chicago (WSNS/TV).