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New Canaan resident panelist at White House summit

New Canaan resident Jim Joyce was part of a group of panelists selected by the White House to address a summit meeting discussing industrial labor relations in both the public and private sectors.

Joyce is the president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America, which represents 10,000 workers in the entertainment industry employed at Disney/ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and other national media outlets.

The Dec. 5 summit was sponsored by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which specializes in labor-management conflict resolution and partnership development. The audience included 200 labor relations professionals representing workers the Federal Aviation Administration, The Walt Disney Company, the Ford Motor Company and International Paper. The event was also attended by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Secretary of Commerce Penny S. Pritzker.

Joyce was selected by the White House to talk about the value of federal mediation in recent negotiations between NABET-CWA and Disney/ABC. Those parties had been locked in a two-year contract dispute until the FMCS intervened earlier this year. He summarized the "near crisis situation" that bargaining had become in recent years, along with the challenges facing NABET-CWA and Disney/ABC management including economic stress, changing technology, job convergence and retirement security. Workers at Disney/ABC were trying to build job security but also wanted to be a part of where the industry was going, the jobs of the future.

"These were persistent themes of our bargaining from 2011 until March 2013," Joyce said. "Then, with the help of FMCS Director George Cohen and a marathon bargaining session, we were able to find innovative and creative solutions to our issues, work out ground-breaking agreement, actually, on gathering content, and successfully keep workers on track for job security, retirement security and the jobs of the future."

Joyce and his family are longtime New Canaan residents. He has served as president of NABET-CWA since February 2010, after previously being elected as its vice president for three terms, dating back to 2002. He has worked in the broadcasting/entertainment industry since 1980, including 32 years at ABC-TV in New York.

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