|Michael K. Powell
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
|March 14, 2003|
Dear Chairman Powell,
On Wednesday, February 26 the national Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) unanimously approved the enclosed policy statement relating to the Commission’s ongoing rulemaking regarding media ownership rules.
The AFL-CIO Executive Council is composed of 54 leaders of organized labor in the U.S and represents the consensus views of the nearly 13 million union members and their families who are members of AFL-CIO affiliated unions. These unions include 12 national organizations with over 500,000 professional and technical workers who are employed in almost every facet of news, information and entertainment production.
These organizations are:
- Actors’ Equity Association (AEA);
- the American Federation of Musicians (AFM);
- the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA);
- The Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA);
- the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA);
- the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA);
- the International Alliance of Theatrical, Stage Employees (IATSE);
- the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW);
- the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT);
- the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA);
- the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and;
- the Writers Guild of America, East.
Many of these trade unions as well as the AFL-CIO have filed comments individually or as part of group submissions during the FCC rule-making process.
The attached policy statement (Feb. 26, 2003 AFL-CIO statement regarding Media Monopolies) expresses the Federation’s opposition to the abolition or significant diminution of media ownership regulations. The statement raises concerns about: expanded monopoly control of media outlets; diversity in both news and entertainment production; localism, content quality and comprehensiveness as well as competition in area news coverage; the impact of media consolidation on employment, wages and working conditions; the critical importance to our democracy of public access to an “uninhibited marketplace of ideas”.
Since these views, as well as the comments filed earlier, are provided on behalf of over 40 million trade unionists and their family members-the largest group of consumers of news and entertainment to present views to the Commission-I hope you will take the time to review the enclosed statement and seriously consider the concerns that have been raised by the AFL-CIO.
Thank you in advance for doing so.
John J. Sweeney
cc: To presidents of affiliated unions in news and entertainment