4/21/08

Non-employees want to unionize, bargain

One of the principles of the trade union movement is the right to organize. The Unpaid Staff Organization at KPFA represents the majority of the volunteer staff at the station who do more than 60% of the programming.

Unfortunately, the management of KPFA including Interim Manager Lemlem Rijio and Interim Program Director Sasha Lilley have opposed the recognition of the unpaid staff organization. This is despite the fact that the KPFA Local Station Board along with the Pacifica National Board have both called on the station management to recognize UPSO.

Adding to this travesty is that the Concerned Listeners CL grouping labor representatives on the Local Station Board including labor educator Warren Marr and his wife Alameda Central Labor Council staffer Susan McDonough along with Dianne Enriquez, a staffer for Young Workers United have also opposed the recognition of the staff organization and supported these union busting tactics

At a past meeting, Rijio justified her refusal to recognize the UPSO because of "personality differences". This is what every boss would say if they could use that as an excuse not to recognize a union. Alameda Central Labor Council Secretary Sharon Cornu was also involved in getting the endorsement of this same Concerned Listeners grouping without allowing all the KPFA board candidates the right to be interviewed by the Alameda Labor Council Executive Board and membership.

This kind of bureaucratic and undemocratic tactics is weakening the labor movement and is part and parcel of the battle now going on in the SEIU against corporate unionism and "labor-management partnerships".

It also coincides with the successful efforts of Sharon Cornu and here supporters to demand that Green Party Oakland candidate Rebecca Kaplan change her registration to the Democratic Party before the Labor Council would support and endorse her.
Cornu also sought to prevent the ILWU Local 10 from having a speaker at a past anti-war protest because she disagreed with their more militant trade unionism and for labor action against the war. Her main political activity is supporting the Democratic Party and in fact she is on the Democratic Party Central Committee in the East Bay.

These coercive and reactionary tactics have no place in the labor movement and the silence of Cornu and the Alameda CLC leadership about the union busting at KPFA must be challenged by all trade unionists and workers who want a democratic KPFA and a democratic labor movement.

(indybay.org)

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