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NBCU's Peacock Productions denies improperly blocking unionization

Date August 27, 2013

By Tim Molloy

NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - NBCUniversal's Peacock Productions says it hasn't done anything wrong in its dispute with the Writers Guild of America East over whether its employees can unionize.

On Monday, the union called on NBCU President Steve Burke to allow Peacock Productions writers to unionize in a letter signed by writers from "Saturday Night Live," "Late Night" and "30 Rock," among other shows. Peacock produces nonfiction programming for basic cable networks, and WGAE has been trying to organize writer-producers at the company since 2009.

The National Labor Relations Board directed a secret-ballot election in June, but the union says NBCU has had those ballots impounded while it appeals.

NBCU contends that Peacock producers' supervisory authority excludes them from unionizing under federal labor laws, and from voting in the election. It said the NLRB had agreed to review the case, and that the NLRB had had the ballots impounded as part of the review process.

"As is part of the normal process, the votes were impounded by the NLRB until a decision is made," Peacock Productions said in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday. "We are still waiting for the NLRB to render their decision, which is why no votes have been counted."

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