Monterey Bay AFL-CIO labor council supports KPFA workers

KPFA union members and listeners picket Pacifica

An AFL-CIO labor council representing more than 30,000 Monterey and Santa Cruz union members has condemned what it calls parent network Pacifica’s “blatant anti-union actions” in its dealings with KPFA’s paid workers. The resolution unanimously approved by the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council cites Pacifica for illegally violating the collective bargaining agreement with the paid workers at KPFA, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America Local 9415.

The action follows similar resolutions passed by the San Francisco Labor Council, the Alameda Labor Council and the South Bay Labor Council.

A banner dropped from the mezzanine of KPFA, in between Billie Holiday and Frida Kahlo, as part of a national day of action in support of union workers.

The Monterey Bay labor council resolution condemns Pacifica for targeting individual union members by name for layoff. Last November, Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt went over the heads of KPFA’s local managers and laid off Morning Show co-hosts Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Aimee Allison, and cancelled the popular show despite thousands of listener letters and calls urging her not to do so.  Pacifica has refused to reinstate it even after evidence of a sharp drop in financial support during KPFA’s morning drive time broadcast.

Pacifica reinstated Edwards-Tiekert right before his case went to binding arbitration, but only after spending some $30,000 on an anti-union law firm.  Edwards-Tiekert now has a job as a news reporter, not a co-host of the Morning Show. Aimee Allison’s case is headed to arbitration. Most unpaid staff at KPFA have refused to work on the show, including veteran labor journalist David Bacon.

A listener gives her recommendation to Pacifica

KPFA’s interim management team of Andrew Philips and Carrie Core have so far refused to reinstate Aimee Allison or bring back the crew of the Morning Show. Please write them here and urge them to do so, and demand that KPFA immediately stop spending listener dollars on a $400/hr law firm to fight KPFA’s $20/hr union workers.

You are also welcome to attend KPFA’s local board meeting on Saturday, April 16 from 11am-4 pm in Oakland’s Humanist Hall.

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