MTV Back Down

13th December 2007

United Hollywood reports on a success story from New York, where freelance writers and staff walked out en masse this week from the offices of MTV and VHI after being handed a diktat from the management that reversed many of their basic work rights:

The offense that originally prompted action on [the employees'] part occurred December 4 when they were instructed to pick up their holiday party invitations. They were then instructed to fill out “additional paperwork,” that was due two days later on Thursday, December 6. This paperwork contained the news that they were no longer entitled to their 401(k) plans, dental insurance, paid vacation days (of which they had five, and now have 0), holidays, and that the 50-hour workweek would become the norm, after which hourly wage earners were eligible for overtime. Says one freelancer, “They’ve just informed us that if we entered the company less than one year ago and work for an hourly wage (as most people under management-level do), we will not get paid for one day off.”

The demonstration caused Viacom (the company that owns MTV) to reverse its decision and return the benefits of their employees.

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