Golf Channel’s striking technicians will vote on a new contract this week, Golfweek reports.
About 350 technicians — including cameramen, audio and video workers, and others — walked off the job earlier this month in protest of job conditions, disrupting coverage of three events. The striking employees have asked Golf Channel for higher wages and 10-hour work days, while requesting that the network “treat their workers with respect and value their hard work and commitment,” according to a flyer they passed out.
Now, the technicians’ union is recommending members approve a new contract, with the network apparently having made concessions.
Details on the new contract were not immediately available, but the employees were encouraged to approve it.
“Your bargaining committee, not unanimously, but by a strong majority, recommends you vote ‘yes’ on ratifying this contract,” Sandra England, director of broadcast for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), wrote in a note to technicians.
The technicians’ absence has been noticeable to many viewers over the past two weeks. Fans lambasted the network’s Sony Open camerawork on the day of the strike, and although the issues were less obvious last weekend, the regular technicians were missed nonetheless. Golfweek’s Martin Kaufmann chronicled the network’s issues at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
The most significant problems were evident at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. During the second and third rounds, players such as Jon Rahm looked as if they were being shown on a bad streaming connection in a web video.
The images from La Quinta Country Club appeared washed-out – roughly low-definition quality. Sometimes, as was the case when Rahm was putting Saturday, images weren’t properly framed, so we didn’t see the ball at address, only after it was struck.
I don’t recall any on-course audio during the second and third rounds, and the only tracers I can recall were on the 18th tee at PGA West’s Stadium Course. And those weren’t predictable; you might see the tracer for one player’s drive, but not for his playing partner.
With Tiger Woods returning to the PGA Tour this coming weekend (in a tournament that will be produced by CBS, not Golf Channel) and a number of major events upcoming, Golf Channel has plenty of reason to lure its technicians back into the fold sooner rather than later. We’ll find out soon whether the workers are satisfied with the network’s offer.