The Golf Channel will return to normalcy after the IATSE* Technicians ratified a contract to end the strike that affected the last couple of tournaments on the channel. The strike lasted about 1.5 weeks and crews involved included cameramen and technicians that handled things like broadcast graphics. While the channel was able to finish the Sony Open, where the strike began, and put together the CareerBuilder Challenge, it did not go unnoticed that the quality was diminished.
The crews will receive wage increases that will bring them closer to the standard industry rates and increases in health care contributions from the employer.
The IATSE sent out the following release via email:
“This is a huge win for broadcast technicians working in the highly specialized world of golf programming,” said Sandra England, Department Director of Broadcast for the IATSE. “Freelance workers standing together like this, supporting each other, it’s never happened before. All three broadcast unions stood in solidarity to send a powerful message – that there is a line where workers will say ‘No’ and back it up, and that nobody can take us for granted.”
“This is the power of solidarity,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb. “Golf Channel technicians supported one another, and achieved something they could not have hoped for on their own. Everyone who works in sports broadcasting will benefit from this contract, because it raises the floor for all workers.”
The new contract will last two years and will include health care contributions that are retroactive to the last contract’s expiration on June 13, 2017.
Many were worried that the strike would affect the upcoming PGA Tour season, but once the CBS/NBC rotation begins, those crews will be working the tournaments and are members of different unions so there would have been no missing out on Tiger’s return this weekend. However, the Web.com and LPGA Tour broadcasts would have continued to be affected by the lack of workers available to cover those broadcasts seen solely on Golf Channel.
Golf Channel issued the following statement:
“Golf Channel appreciates that our tournament technicians are returning to work for events beginning February 5. The ratified contract is fair and in line with industry standards, as had been true under the previous contract and prior to the union’s call for a strike that prompted some of its members to walk off the job. We are thankful to all of our staff who rallied to provide seamless and continuous tournament coverage throughout this labor dispute for golf fans worldwide.”
* International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)