AFTRA Files Complaint Against KOMO-TV Seattle

The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA) says it has received a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board of its claim that three reporters at KOMO-TV Seattle were fired in retaliation for planned union activity.

Station VP and General Manager James Clayton confirmed that the station had "separated from three general assigment reporters"--identified by AFTRA as Kevin Reece, Joe Furia, and April Zepeda. He would not comment on the reasons for the dismissal beyond saying that the assertion that they were let go because they considered becoming AFTRA shop stewards was "absurd and ridiculous."

Clayton said he had not been informed of the timing of the NLRB hearing, which AFTRA said had been scheduled for Friday morning.

AFTRA claims the firings came "without warning" and after "Furia and Zepeda volunteered to serve as leaders for AFTRA members at KOMO-TV." AFTRA then filed an unfair labor practices claim with the NLRB, the congressionally-established board that arbitrates labor/management disputes.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.