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Maine Gubernatorial Candidates Support Workers, Boycott TV Station


April 26, 2010

WGEM photographer

As the June gubernatorial primary in Maine approaches, Portland’s WGME, the CBS affiliate, should be cashing in on lucrative political ads.

Instead, the station is losing a sizeable slug of business. All five Democratic gubernatorial candidates are refusing to buy ads from the Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s affiliate in support of workers at the station, members of Manchester Local 1837.

Sinclair has unilaterally declared an impasse in contract talks, cut wages, and implemented parts of their last contract offer that forced concessions on workers who include operating technicians, news editors, assignment editors, photographers, engineers, producers and directors. Says Cynthia Phinney, Local 1837 business manager:

We’re grateful to the candidates and the party for their support. We think it sends a strong message that Mainers don’t like the unfair treatment of workers at WGME. They think that Maine workers deserve good jobs to help support their families and communities.

Steve Rowe, a candidate for governor, told the blog, Dirigo Blue:

We need to move Maine in a new direction by creating jobs and putting workers and their families first, that's what I'll do as Governor. But why wait? By honoring IBEW 1837's moratorium, my campaign is starting that effort now.

Click her for the Local 1837 Web site.