MSNBC’s parent company, NBC-Universal has been engaging in a union busting campaign, so the workers asked 5 primetime hosts to meet with them. So far, only Hayes has sat down with the workers.
Workers at Peacock Productions want to form a union, but when they started to organize, Comcast pulled union busting tactics right out of the Walmart playbook, “NBC Universal – owned by Comcast – was guilty of hypocrisy, treating Peacock Productions workers in a way that defied the values promoted on its cable channel, MSNBC: running “a textbook anti-union campaign that you would see at companies like Wal-Mart”; attempting “voter suppression” by preventing union election ballots from being counted; and exploiting the “right-wing extremist takeover in Congress” by mounting National Labor Relations Board stalling tactics abetted by recent Senate obstruction.”
The workers needed support they reached out to Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz through a MoveOn Civic Action petition that asked the hosts to meet with the workers, and publicly support them.
Only Hayes has met with the workers, but he hasn’t publicly supported them.
The oddest case was Ed Schultz, who when asked for a comment by Salon said, “Moveon.org has never been an ally of Ed Schultz, why should I help you with a story? Give me a reason.” Schultz never replied follow up emails. On his radio show Schultz kind of explained that he hasn’t met with the workers, because he has no influence over the suits, “Because someone may have a different view, or someone of authority may view things differently, doesn’t mean, because I have a position on something, that I’m going to be able to influence them, OK?”
Chris Hayes doesn’t have any influence either, but he met with the workers. Schultz and the other hosts aren’t obligated to meet with the workers, but there is an expectation, fair or not, that many of them would. Since they are also employees, they are in a tricky position.
The big takeaway here is the corporation that is selling you Lean Forward is also trying to keep unions out. Suspicion of MSNBC has grown since Martin Bashir resigned, and this story is a reminder that behind your favorite MSNBC host is a giant union busting corporation.