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AFTRA: We won’t boycott WFSB

The American Federation of Radio and Television Artists changed its mind
about boycotting a WFSB(TV) Hartford, Conn.-sponsored charity golf tournament Tuesday,
AFTRA said, after talking with the head of the kids' camp that benefits from the

The on-air talent union had directed its members to refrain from
participating in the tournament to protest the station’s final offer in ongoing

But AFTRA’s New England director, Tom Higgins, said Kids Camp president
Reggie Hales made a convincing entreaty on behalf of the facility, which serves
underprivileged children.

Prior to AFTRA’s 11th-hour change of mind, the station told those
on-air staffers who were scheduled to work during the tournament that they were
obligated contractually to work regardless of the union’s position.

AFTRA said it plans to protest that directive with the National Labor
Relations Board as an infringement on their bargaining rights, although it
advised its members to comply.

The station denied the union’s contention and said the message was simply a
reminder of the obligations of some of the staffers.

But while the last-minute changes may not have dramatically affected
attendance or fund-raising positively or negatively, sources at the tournament
said one of the biggest names scheduled to attend, Entertainment
's Bob Goen, had shown up for the event but left prior to AFTRA
changing its mind.

AFTRA said it had no official contact with Goen, and executives at
ET could not be reached.