News station's new owner says it's fine with union contracts - just not the one workers already have

Scott Fybush reports union officials representing staffers at WBZ 1030 are scheduled to meet with honchos from the Company Formerly Known as Clear Channel in Medford today, following Friday's Globe story about how the company will make workers re-apply for their jobs and sign a new contract if they're allowed to stay.

Meanwhile, iHeart execs might want to research what happened when WBZ tried getting rid of overnight talk host Steve LeVeille - because the guy who organized the campaign to get LaVeille back is now offering to help WBZ workers.

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    Um...

    By on

    I'm pretty sure that's not how contracts work. If Company A and Union B have an agreement, then Company A is sold to Company Z...Company Z takes on Company A's obligations. Unless the Union's lawyers were so daft at drafting the agreement, I don't see how Company Z gets out of the agreement and their due diligence should have raised that to their attention before agreeing to buy Company A.

    Too true

    By on

    I never realized how weak labor law has been allowed to crumble sadly.

    https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/spruce-survives-su...

    It seems like iHeart was obligated to basically tell the union "we're not even sure we're rehiring all of you" just to take the easiest escape from the terms of the union contract that was in place. There's like a half-dozen ways that iHeart can void the union contract unless successorship was mentioned in it to begin with. Man, if I were a union these days, I'd forego a few extra vacation days if it meant that I could bargain for successorship wording in my contract. Too many companies get bought/sold in these days of greedy conglomerations.

    It depends

    If Company A and Union B have an agreement, then Company A is sold to Company Z...Company Z takes on Company A's obligations

    That depends. What, exactly, did company Z buy. Clever weasels can often structure the deal so as to avoid the obligations. Sometimes, for example, Company A technically closes; what company Z buys are just the assets of Company A; Company Z then helps themselves to the goodwill and intangible assets by operating under the "Company A" brand name, but when a creditor shows up, Company Z says, essentially, "who, us???? We're not Company A."

    We bought the assets and not the obligations.

    By on

    I've heard that more than once when a company has bought a company I'm doing business with.
    last time was an insurance company I bought home insurance from. When I remortgaged, the bank wanted one year of home insurance paid in advance however my currant policy was good for another few months. Bought full year of insurance that was supposed to be tacked on to the end of the old policy.
    When time for new policy to kick in I was told by the new owners that they "bought the assets not the obligations". They didn't care I had been a customer for 10 years and never filed a claim. After bothering them daily for a month and dealing with the Insurance Commissioner's Office they finally gave me a low quality policy from a company I never heard of before.
    Of course after that policy expired I moved on to another company and never dealt with them again.

    I'd feel bummed if I were a

    By on

    I'd feel bummed if I were a WBZ employee.

    However, if the employees' contracts were with CBS/Entercom, not some business entity such as "WBZ Boston", it makes some sort of sense. After all, iHeart is basically buying the FCC license and maybe some physical assets, right? They're not buying a business called "WBZ Boston".

    CBS/Entercom probably could have tried put some conditions in the sales agreement, but maybe the buyer had the leverage.

    The thing I always think of when I read stories like this is not a union contract, but a vendor contract. Anyone remember the scam the Harrington/Yawkey people pulled before the sale to the Henry group was complete? I don't weep for John Henry, but - Coming up with hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the franchise, and the seller giving the concessions vendor a fat contract extension on the way out the door? That would annoy me.

    I guess Harrington's lawyers must've been very good at drafting the sales agreement and making sure that obligation went with the other obligations and assets (or Henry's lawyers weren't good).

    In my fantasy world of being rich enough to buy a baseball team, I'd have had my sharks telling Harrington "If you want to stick us with paying Aramark $50,000,000*, that $50M is getting deducted from the sale price. Think about having to explain to the Yawkey Foundation how much money you'll be losing them."

    I'd feel bummed if I were a

    By on

    I'd feel bummed if I were a WBZ employee.

    However, if the employees' contracts were with CBS/Entercom, not some business entity such as "WBZ Boston", it makes some sort of sense. After all, iHeart is basically buying the FCC license and maybe some physical assets, right? They're not buying a business called "WBZ Boston".

    CBS/Entercom probably could have tried put some conditions in the sales agreement, but maybe the buyer had the leverage.

    The thing I always think of when I read stories like this is not a union contract, but a vendor contract. Anyone remember the scam the Harrington/Yawkey people pulled before the sale to the Henry group was complete? I don't weep for John Henry, but - Coming up with hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the franchise, and the seller giving the concessions vendor a fat contract extension on the way out the door? That would annoy me.

    I guess Harrington's lawyers must've been very good at drafting the sales agreement and making sure that obligation went with the other obligations and assets (or Henry's lawyers weren't good).

    In my fantasy world of being rich enough to buy a baseball team, I'd have had my sharks telling Harrington "If you want to stick us with paying Aramark $50,000,000*, that $50M is getting deducted from the sale price. Think about having to explain to the Yawkey Foundation how much money you'll be losing them."

    Call Rite Window Right Now

    Tell them you are not happy with how WBZ is treating their staff.

    Call Mapfre Insurance and tell them you are not happy with how WBZ is treating their staff.

    Call Reeds Ferry Sheds and tell them you are not happy how WBZ is treating their staff.

    Call all of their sponsors and tell them how you feel.

    Didn't work

    By on

    I tried calling Busy Dog, but he said he was busy.

    /snark

    Didn't Steve LeVeille eventually walk out without notice?

    By on

    After all of his listener's lobbying to get him back, didn't Steve LeVeille show his gratitude by sticking around another year or so then pretty much wrapping up his final show by saying, "I'm retiring tonight, goodbye" with little or no notice?

    I never liked LeVeille, he could be a jerk to his callers including the elderly and talked incessantly about his cat. A waste of 50,000 watts that had been made great overnight by the likes of Larry Glick, Lou Marcelle and Bob Raleigh.

    The WBZ union should have seen the writing on the wall 25+ years ago when they allowed the weather forecast to be farmed out to AccuWeather in State College, PA. It was always funny to hear Eliot Abrams saying "we'll see snow moving in after midnight" or whatever the forecast and the hosts would act as though he were right there in the Brighton studio, even though he was several states and 7 hours away phoning it in. I'm sure many people never knew.