On Wednesday, the Berkeley Labor Commission met to discuss the conflict between KPFA’s union and Pacifica management. Various workers spoke out against layoffs, the removal of the station’s biggest fund raising program, and the hiring of corporate management law firm, while Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt defended the actions of KPFA’s parent organization.
After hearing both sides, the Labor Commission voted to approve a “Resolution in Support of Good-Faith Negotiations and a Speedy Resolution to the Labor Dispute Around KPFA.” It called the KPFA Morning Show a “vital civic forum for the San Francisco Bay Area” and stated that “this ongoing dispute runs counter to Berkeley’s longstanding commitment to labor rights and free and fair negotiation.” The Labor Commission called on Pacifica management to “negotiate in good faith with Communications Workers Local 9415” and offered the city’s services for mediation.
The full resolution is below:
WHEREAS the recent layoffs of KPFA’s Morning Show staff have been troubling to Berkeley’s labor community and have raised questions about their conformance with the contract between Pacifica radio system’s management and Communications Workers Local 9415 which, at the least, should be investigated; and
WHEREAS the ongoing labor disputes and financial situation of KPFA have led several other employees to accept voluntary layoffs; and
WHEREAS the canceled Morning Show represented a vital civic forum for the San Francisco Bay Area and, further, the constitution and spirit of Pacifica’s listener-employee run radio has symbolic implications to its many listeners and the City of Berkeley as a whole; and
WHEREAS KPFA’s stature as a mainstay of a democratic Berkeley is being challenged by the ongoing labor dispute; and
WHEREAS this ongoing dispute runs counter to Berkeley’s longstanding commitment to labor rights and free and fair negotiation
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Berkeley calls on the management of Pacifica radio to negotiate in good faith with Communications Workers Local 9415 in an effort to seek a fair and speedy resolution
LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that the Berkeley City Council shall offer its services or those of its designees to provide mediation assistance to the disputing parties