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CBS Newswriters Authorize Strike

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The union representing 50 CBS news-writers at WBBM and CBS-2 here in Chicago have voted to authorize a strike. The employees are members of the Writers Guild of America. About 300 CBS employees voted in 4 cities.

The authorization vote doesn’t mean an automatic strike, just that members can declare a strike at any time. But WBBM TV newswriter Sue Brown says they’d rather bargain with CBS instead. Union members have been without a contract since 2005. They object to the proposed pay raises, which are higher for national writers than for local ones. They also fear CBS will consolidate stations.

BROWN: And, you know, more than likely do away with half of those writers, which would more than likely be the unionized shop which would be us.

In a statement, CBS News called the strike vote unfortunate, and called the salary increases the union is rejecting “fair and reasonable.” I’m Diantha Parker, Chicago Public Radio.

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