WGAW, CBS settle dispute over L.A. walkouts


The WGA West and CBS have settled a dispute resulting from a recent walkout at KCBS and KCAL tied to negotiations for a new newswriter contract, with the guild agreeing to withdraw an unfair labor practice charge.

The WGAW, which filed the charge against the network on behalf of newswriters at the two Los Angeles TV stations, said CBS has agreed "to recognize the employees' right to engage in union activity" and to pay back wages withheld after the Aug. 16 job action. The newswriters participated in a lunchtime protest in support of guild contract demands.

About 500 newswriters and others in four markets continue to work under terms of a contract that expired in April 2005. Balloting is under way on a proposed new pact, which would provide nonretroactive pay increases totaling 12% over the next 45 months.

Those voting on the pact include newswriters, editors, desk and production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers and researchers in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles. Results of the balloting are expected by Nov. 29.