The Golf Channel strike is over for scores of union behind-the-scenes technicians, cameramen, audio and utility folks and others who work live tournament broadcasts for the next week.
The strike, called last Saturday night by the union’s IATSE representatives, lasted right about one week. The end result is a new, multi-year deal between the two sides which, assuming its ratification this week, will see the resumption of a fully professional broadcast for all four U.S.-based tours the channel handles from end-to-end most weeks.
The IATSE bargaining committee is not unanimously recommending approval for members, but enough have sent a signal that this deal is good enough. However, the details of the agreement are unclear. What is known is the points of contention, including prior changes to the workday, a cut in health-care benefits, changes to compensation for travel and losing lunch breaks, as well general compensation and treatment compared to peers in the industry.
Beginning with this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, however, the IATSE group wouldn’t be the team for the network’s PGA Tour telecasts. For PGA Tour events where CBS broadcasts weekend coverage, their personnel largely come in to handle the behind-the-scenes and technical components of the telecast, while Golf Channel and CBS on-air talent work together.
There had been thought the CBS Sports crew was considering a strike in solidarity with the IATSE crew, but the IBEW Local 1220 told their members on Facebook that wasn’t an option without dire consequences. In a Facebook post, the group reminded members, “We do work for CBS, which is contractually obligated to the PGA (Tour) to provide early-round coverage, wherever it airs.”