Dems Drop NH TV Station As Sponsor For Next Debate Over Union Dispute

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December 11, 2015 3:47 p.m.

The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that it dropped New Hampshire television station WMUR as a sponsor for the party’s presidential debate next week over the network’s unwillingness to negotiate with a local union.

WMUR and its parent company Hearst have for months refused to negotiate with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228. The union accused the station of trying to strip 11 workers’ pensions after they unionized, as Politico first reported. WMUR is the most prominent TV station in the early voting state.

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and New Hampshire party chair Ray Buckley announced the decision in a joint statement.

“Regrettably, as a result of WMUR’s unwillingness to move forward on scheduling negotiations between the Hearst Corporation and Production Department employees represented by IBEW Local 1228 prior to the debate, we will no longer include WMUR as a co-sponsor of the debate, and their talent will not be participating in any way,” they wrote in the statement.

National party officials expected the station to resolve the situation before the debate, which will be broadcast Saturday on ABC. Labor organizers had earlier threatened to picket the debate, which would have provided a far from palatable backdrop for the Democratic debate.

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