Camera operators at two local television stations are considering strikes ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
At CBS 3 Philadelphia, members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees local 804 voted to authorize a strike Tuesday — though issued no strike date. Workers at NBC 10, who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, have set a Sept. 21 deadline.
An anonymous source told PBJ that the strike vote was designed to give the union "leverage" ahead of the papal visit.
“Very rarely do we have any advantage in negotiations. With the pope coming, we have a little. So we are going to use any advantage we can get," the source said.
Workers at CBS 3 are holding out for a 3 percent raise, PBJ reported. The station has offered 2 percent.
"We look forward to reaching a fair and mutually beneficial agreement with our IATSE employees as soon as possible," CBS 3 said in a statement.
At NBC 10, the fight is over the number of union jobs. The station apparently wants to fire union workers and replace them with less expensive ones.