Spanish Broadcasting System says it has filed charges of unfair labor before the National Labor Relations Board against SAG-AFTRA. It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle. The union had previously accused the Hispanic media company of numerous violations of labor laws at its two Los Angeles radio stations.
In a statement, Richard D. Lara, general counsel for SBS, called remarks made by union officials “a blatant attempt at intimidating the company into accepting certain of the union’s unfair demands.”
Employees at regional Mexican “La Raza” KLAX-FM (97.9) and Spanish CHR “Mega 96.3” KXOL-FM voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the union last August but the two sides have since been unable to reach an agreement. The dispute flared up in the media after the union issued a press release late Friday accusing SBS of “ongoing systemic and endemic abuses at both stations.”
On Monday, Lara responded to the union’s allegations. “SBS has, is and will continue to coordinate, cooperate and negotiate in good faith with SAG-AFTRA, despite the union’s inflammatory remarks in the media, which we see as a blatant attempt at intimidating the company into accepting certain of the union’s unfair demands,” Lara told Inside Radio. SBS filed against the union with the NLRB, he said, “in connection with its negotiating tactics involving the approximately 28 employees who make up the bargaining unit at the two Los Angeles radio stations.” Lara went on to say that SBS “is committed to achieving a fair and equitable resolution to the bargaining process. SBS has always valued and has been committed to its employees and will continue to do so moving forward.”
KLAX-FM and KXOL-FM are the first Spanish-language radio stations to organize in L.A., according to the union.
Among the accusations SAG-AFTRA has alleged: “paying station employees less than the 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 cellphone reimbursements, and failing to provide payment for talent endorsement fees.” The union also accused the broadcaster of unlawfully firing eight employees for their union activities.