At a SAG-AFTRA press conference Tuesday several current and former employees at La Raza 97.9 and MEGA 96.3 in L.A. spoke out about unfair treatment at the Spanish-language broadcast company. SAG-AFTRA said SBS has committed a myraid of labor law violations. They say the former employees were unlawfully terminated by SBS and the current employees are underpaid.
On behalf of the employees SAG-AFTRA has filed six labor charges against SBS, citing the alleged unlawful firing of eight employees in retaliation for their union activities and threatening to terminate six additional workers.SAG-AFTRA attorney Julie Gottlieb said, “They were treated as second-class citizens. This company is the most outrageous I have ever seen.”
SBS employees at La Raza and MEGA voted to join SAG-AFTRA in 2016. SAG-AFTRA claims SBS has since failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “SAG-AFTRA today delivered a letter to Julie Su, the Labor Commissioner of California, calling upon her and her department to vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS. Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board. It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA. This is absolutely unacceptable. I have a message for SBS: We are not going away.”
SAG-AFTRA claims that employees at La Raza and MEGA chose to organize and join
SAG-AFTRA due to ongoing systemic and endemic abuses at both stations. These violations of California law include being paid less than the legally mandated minimum wage, denying rest breaks, denying meal breaks and access to bathrooms during live and remote events, denying overtime, exempting employees paid below the wage threshold, denying reimbursement for cell phones rand other business expenses, and failing to provide payment for talent endorsement fees.