NBC News, MSNBC Employees Plan Walkout to Protest Union Layoffs

Union members plan to protest in front of the company’s 30 Rock office building in Manhattan on Thursday morning

NBC News, 10 Rockefeller Plaza
NBC News, 10 Rockefeller Plaza (Getty Images)

More than 200 NBC and MSNBC employeees plan to walk off the job at NBC’s 30 Rock offices in New York on Thursday to protest the company’s decision to lay off seven journalists last month who are part of the New York’s NewsGuild, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

A post on the NewsGuild’s site read that the 24-hour work stoppage is to “protest the company’s unfair labor practices.”

“In January the company illegally laid off seven bargaining unit members and informed others that they were no longer members of the union. This of course violates federal law,” the statement continued. “We’ve written about how a company cannot lay off workers prior to a first contract being settled. And of course NBC is familiar with this precedent because they illegally cut salaries without bargaining in 2020.”

Tate James, a video editor and unit chair, told the Post, “How are we supposed to act like we are holding power to account if our employers are repeatedly violating federal labor law?”

On Wednesday morning, NBC News Digital union also filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board over the cuts and delivered a letter to NBC management announcing the walkout, according to the Post. Many guild-covered NBC and MSNBC staffers changed their in-office statuses to to “ready to walk out.”

“We are disappointed by the NewsGuild’s continued attempts to misrepresent the facts while we work in good faith with them to reach an agreement,” an NBC News spokesperson said in a statement.

The NBC Guild was founded in 2019 and has yet to reach a contractual agreement with NBC management.

MSNBC is also at odds with the Writers Guild of America East. On Wednesdsay, the guild released a petition signed by 400 members, including Tina Fey, Lilly Wachowski and Alfonso Cuaron, calling on the network to agree to a union contract with its bargaining unit, which has been in contract talks for more than a year.

“We support our fellow Guild- represented writers and producers at MSNBC who have been fighting for over a year to win a reasonable first contract. They are fully dedicated to the important work they do for NBCU and they deserve to be paid – and treated – fairly,” the petition read.