Letter from Ramsey Kanaan, KPFA unpaid staffer, responding to a fellow unpaid staffer who explained why she took a hosting job on new 8am show, replacing laid off union staff and the unpaid programmers who are supporting them.

Dear [unpaid staff coworker],

The unpaid staff have not stepped up to do the Morning Show. Certain unpaid staff and community supporters have. I haven’t, neither have the vast majority of the unpaid staff, or community…

To do so would be scabbing. As David Bacon pointed out to this list with his post on why, as an unpaid staffer, and one of several unpaid staff taken off the air arbitrarily by Pacifica, from the Morning Show, he won’t scab. You are scabbing. The fact that you are scabbing for free makes it even more inexcusable. PG&E are a corporation. They provide vital services to all kinds of low income folks, people of color etc. If PG&E laid off a portion of their unionized workforce illegally, would you and the community rush to provide those in desperate need with their electricity!?

The listeners and community do not want and need the kind of embarrassing, amateur rubbish you have provided so far on the scab Morning Show. Just look at the listening statistics…they’ve plummeted. They’ve voted with their ears, and changed the dial.

The paid staff are working on this scab show because if they didn’t, they’d promptly be fired for insubordination. Why pretend otherwise? Or that illegal firings aren’t partisan? Or that all of the current scab morning hosts are supporters of a particular faction on the LSB?

Unfortunately, cronyism, scabbing, and power-grabs are more than decades old. I guess I missed that part of KPFA’s mission. As an anarchist who believed in workers’ self-management, Lew Hill actually understood concepts like solidarity, which side are you on, and standing up for one’s principles. He was put in a detention camp for doing just that. He certainly didn’t believe in this ridiculous ‘us and the community are all in it together while we happily do scabbing for the Management’ bollocks.

Where I come from, and the traditions I’ve been a part of, an injury to one is an injury to all. It’s shameful to be involved in a supposedly progressive institution where scabbing and union-busting are not only the order of the day, but are vigorously defended and enabled by a minority of the staff, paid and unpaid.

Ramsey Kanaan
KPFA unpaid staff
Founder, AK Press
Publisher, PM Press