AFL-CIO's Trumka Asks MSNBC Hosts to Unionize Network


MSNBC's evening lineup is full of big supporters of the organized union labor movement. Now, however, they have been asked to put their money where their mouths are. On Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter some of MSNBC's big names, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Hayes, calling on them to meet with workers trying to organize the cable news channel's employees, and to urge their viewers to protest their network's anti-union activities.

The letter says in part:

Today those workers do not have a voice on the job to express their concerns. Unfortunately, Peacock has not acted in good faith, as its parent company NBC has in the past. Instead, Peacock has fought against its workers’ rights, jeopardizing the livelihoods of the workers.

Peacock Productions has forced workers to attend mandatory anti-union meetings and has employed legal maneuvers to impound the ballots the workers cast in a June election. These actions are wrong, and we hope that you will stand with your colleagues to denounce them. Millions of viewers across the country look to your shows as a platform for progressive ideas and advancing workers’ rights. The workers at Peacock respect your work, as do we, and have seen the influence you have on many issues important to working people. We urge you to take the time to meet with these producers and associate producers to hear their concerns first-hand. We would be glad to join you. We know you will be moved, as we have been. What has occurred at Peacock is unconscionable.

We recognize that these networks and production companies make millions of dollars in profits and wield great power. But at the end of the day, these workers are working hard and deserve to be fairly rewarded for the work they do. We hope that you heed this call to help these brave men and women appeal to Peacock and to NBC to cease their anti-union tactics. Meet with them, talk to them, call your viewers to action, and let’s make a difference together.

It will be every interesting to see if these MSNBC hosts who criticized Walmart during the protests it faced around Black Friday will criticize their own company when it practices anti-union activities. We will soon learn if they are really union supporters or simply hired guns spewing venom for the money.