SAG-AFTRA is taking its battle with Spanish Broadcasting System front and center as the company holds its annual stockholders meeting in Miami. The union placed a billboard directly outside SBS headquarters calling on company executives and investors to do right by their on-air talent.
SAG-AFTRA has been fighting for the rights of unionized employees at three of the Spanish language company’s stations – “La Raza” KLAX-FM and “Mega 96.3” KXOL-FM Los Angeles, and “La Ley 107.9” WLEY-FM Chicago. WLEY-FM talent voted to form a union represented by SAG-AFTRA in September 2018. The Los Angeles stations joined in 2016.
In December 2017 the union and SBS Los Angeles came to a nearly half-million dollar settlement, nine months after SAG-AFTRA accused the company of numerous violations of labor laws stemming from the firing of eight employees in retaliation for exercising their right to unionize.
“SBS has been engaging in egregious bad faith bargaining. They’re not showing up with a contract that treats their on-air talent with dignity and respect, so we are coming to them,” SAG-AFTRA Miami Local Executive Director Hertha Suarez said in a release. “Top ratings and record revenue gains call for proper compensation that rewards employees rather than further burdening them.”
In May the union called on the radio group to extend fair contracts to employees after SBS touted ratings success during its first quarter 2019 earnings call.
“There’s a huge responsibility that comes with being the only Hispanic-owned-and-controlled radio and entertainment entity in the U.S., including leading by example and ensuring the growth and viability of the people who have put SBS and its stations on top,” Suarez continued.