November 19, 2007 / 8:58 PM / in 11 years

CBS News writers authorize union to call a strike

Footage of 'CBS Evening News' with Katie Couric is shown at the Red Sky bar in New York September 5, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

NEW YORK (Reuters) - CBS News writers, producers and editors voted to authorize their labor union to call a strike after working without a contract for two years.

About 81 percent of the nearly 300 CBS members of the Writers Guild of America voted to authorize the strike, the union said in a statement. The union represents 500 CBS employees in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington

D.C.

The Writers Guild is also involved in the most serious Hollywood labor confrontation in 20 years. TV and movie industry writers went on strike on November 5 after a deadlock with major studios over union demands for a bigger share of revenue from the Internet.

The union rejected CBS’s last contract offer, which established a two-tier wage package, with one tier for TV and network radio workers and a second for local radio members.

The contract for television and radio CBS News employees expired in April 2, 2005. The union said its employees have not had a pay raise since April 2004.

CBS News is a division of broadcaster CBS Corp.

Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Gary Hill

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