Philly Photographers Talking Strike as Pope Comes to Town


The Pope is about to make an historic visit to the US, with a stop off in Philly. But, the TV coverage might be a bit lacking.

The union representing the roughly 75 photographers and technicians at KYW overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to strike over stalled contract negotiations.

The news comes a day after roughly 65 photographers and technicians at WCAU notified station management that they are exercising their right to terminate a collective bargaining agreement in 10 days and set a Sept. 21 strike date.

Both unions said they are using Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia next week as leverage in negotiations, as neither station wants to be without so many key employees while the historic event takes place.

The main sticking point, the source said, is salary increases, with management offering 2 percent bumps and the union angling for 3 to 3.5 percent raises.

“Very rarely do we have any advantage in negotiations,” the source said. “With the Pope coming, we have a little. So we are going to use any advantage we can get. [KYW management] have made all these changes. There are hiring anchors and firing anchors. We just sort of feel ignored in all this.”

KYW's new station manager, Brien Kennedy, purged numerous employees in the months after his arrival in April — overhauling three quarters of the main Eyewitness News night time anchor crew, hiring several new reporters and replacing the news and sales directors.

"We look forward to reaching a fair and mutually beneficial agreement with our IATSE employees as soon as possible," KYW management said in a statement.

H/T Philly Business Journal