Golf Channel, IATSE Agree to New Two-Year Contract, Ending 11-Day Strike

Golf Channel technicians and other crew belonging to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees will return to work after the union agreed to a new two-year contract. The strike began on Jan. 14, when technical crew and camera operators walked out on Golf Channel’s production of the Sony Open in Honolulu after stalled contract negotiations.

Members of the IATSE picket outside the entrance to Sony Open on Jan. 14 in Honolulu. (AP)

“This is a huge win for broadcast technicians working in the highly specialized world of golf programming,” Sandra England, Department Director of Broadcast for the IATSE, said in a statement. “Freelance workers standing together like this, supporting each other, it’s never happened before. All three broadcast unions stood in solidarity to send a powerful message – that there is a line where workers will say ‘No’ and back it up, and that nobody can take us for granted.”

IATSE technicians approved a contract to end the strike that impacted the channel’s coverage over the past 11 days, including at the final round of the Sony Open and during the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, CA, last weekend. The previous contract had expired in June, and, according to the IATSE, freelancers have been working without a contract and at lower wages ever since. The new deal will result in wage increases that are “closer to industry standard rates,” says the IATSE, as well as increased health care contributions that are retroactive to the expiration of the previous contract in June.

“This is the power of solidarity,” IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb, added in the statement. “Golf Channel technicians supported one another, and achieved something they could not have hoped for on their own. Everyone who works in sports broadcasting will benefit from this contract, because it raises the floor for all workers.”

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