On Monday, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint alleging that ESPN Radio's sports talk WMVP-AM (1000) improperly installed Web cameras without negotiating with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the union that represents on-air talent at the station.
The cameras were apparently installed in the studios as part of WMVP's strategy to develop a simultaneous Webcast of its radio programming. AFTRA subsequently charged that the move to install cameras represents a change in the conditions of employment and therefore must be subject to collective bargaining.
The NLRB complaint also alleges that WMVP unlawfully bypassed the union and bargained directly with on-air personalities regarding compensation and the assignment of new duties related to its renovated Web site. A hearing on the matter has been set for March 8, before an NLRB administrative law judge in Chicago.
A work contract covering WMVP employees expired in late 2007, and negotiations have so far not resulted in a new contract. A WMVP spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.