More Labor Strife At KPFA: Union Files NLRB Complaint, Morning Show Let Go
November 9, 2010 at 4:26 AM (PT)
The COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA Local 9415 has filed an Unfair Labor Practices charge against PACIFICA RADIO for alleged failure to bargain in good faith with the union over job cuts at noncommercial Variety KPFA/BERKELEY-SAN FRANCISCO. At the same time, PACIFICA has let the entire staff of the local KPFA morning show go, including AIMEE ALLISON, BRIAN EDWARDS-TIEKERT (a member of the union bargaining committee), LAURA PRIVES and ESTHER MANILLA (a shop steward for the union), replaced by content from the network.
The union charges, which follow picketing at the station's offices, allege that the company will cut about 25% of the station's union workers and has already cut 20%, and the union, in a press release, says that PACIFICA's Exec. Dir. ARLENE ENGELHARDT "has rejected all proposed alternative cost-savings measures that have won the backing of the union, KPFA's Local Station Board and KPFA management -- and failed to propose any alternatives of her own." In addition, the union alleges that three members of the PACIFICA national board have "drawn up a name-by-name list of employees they would like laid off."
"PACIFICA is obligated to bargain with KPFA's union in good faith," said union local EVP CHRISTINA HIGGINS. "They have not done that. Instead, they've willfully ignored KPFA's union contract, have let board members draw up a list of staff to lay off who they don't like, and are violating labor law."
"They've rejected even the most straightforward cost-saving measures we proposed -- like helping some of our workers voluntarily move from KPFA's regular health care plan to Medicare," said EDWARDS-TIEKERT. "They don't even seem interested in preventing layoffs."
Another protest is scheduled for TODAY at 11a (PT) in front of the station.