KPFA’s parent network Pacifica appears to be moving ahead with layoffs of more than a quarter of the station’s union staff. The Morning Show, Against the Grain, Hard Knock Radio and the Evening News seem slated for severe program changes and/or decimating cuts, along with other vital positions at KPFA.
Pacifica’s executive director, Arlene Engelhardt, appeared on the Morning Show last Tuesday to defend planned deep cuts to replace KPFA’s paid staff with volunteers, a plan that would dramatically affect KPFA’s programming. Engelhardt claims a budget shortfall requires the layoffs, but she has rejected most of the alternative cost-savings measures that have won the backing of the staff, local KPFA board and management. Those proposals, the Sustainable Budget would preserve good jobs while cutting unnecessary board expenses and reducing bureaucratic overhead.
KPFA’s union, CWA Local 9415, is asking listeners and the larger progressive and labor community to take a stand against union busting at America’s first listener-sponsored radio station. Please join the station’s staff on Thursday, November 4th at noon for an informational picket at Pacifica, located at 1925 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Berkeley.
The San Francisco Labor Council has unanimously passed a strong resolution in support of KPFA’s workers, which condemns Pacifica for its anti-union activities. This follows a similar resolution passed by the Alameda Labor Council.
Those who cannot attend the picket may send a message to Arlene Engelhardt.