See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Sore at Channel 4 

About 60 union employees and supporters picketed WDIV’s downtown offices last Friday with signs that read "Turn off Channel 4, it’s bad news for workers."

According to Dan Morgan, a video editor in the news department and spokesman for the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) Local 43, the station is trying to reduce union jobs. He says the company wants photographers, (who are in another union) and non-union workers to be field editors, a position currently covered by NABET members. That would continue to gut the union, which has lost almost half its members in the last 15 years, he says.

"We only have 47 full-time employees" in the union, he says. "We had 85 full time in 1985."

The company also wants to expand the use of temporary employees, who are not entitled to benefits and union wages, said Morgan.

WDIV general manager Alan Frank says that the station has no intention of using temporary employees in place of union workers. He says that the only issue on the table is allowing photographers to be field editors. This means allowing photographers, who are not in NABET but another union, to do the work of editors. He says this would turn around news pieces quicker and make the station more competitive. Frank also says that the boycott has had no effect on the station’s ratings or revenues. "Instead of negotiating they want to have a boycott and we think it is remarkably shortsighted because it will backfire on them," says Frank.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit