Save KPFA’s current Pacifica National Board member Margy Wilkinson was elected to chair the national board. As part of that position, she stepped in to serve as the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation when there was no one serving as the E.D. This summer, in the weeks immediately before John Proffitt took over the job, Wilkinson appointed Lesley Radford, a long time SaveKPFA ally, to the job of General Manager at KPFK, our sister station in Los Angeles.
Radford, although faced with a nearly impossible task, massively bumbled her dealings with the KPFK union and set off a staff rebellion. To date, neither Wilkinson or Save KPFA have severed their support for Radford. In fact, another central Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel continues to advise Radford.
KPFK Management’s Anti-Union Tactics
- Management cut all the union staff working over 50% to 50% pay.
- They gave the staff less than two weeks’ notice before their pay cut took effect.
- SAG-AFTRA said the pay cut was breaking the contract. KPFK management refused to talk to or negotiate with SAG-AFTRA. The matter went directly to arbitration.
- Management made no arrangements to cut the staff workloads and to address the critical needs of running a radio station.
- KPFK management said that the staff would be eligible for the Cal Works program. It was discovered later that when KPFK management made that statement KPFK was not eligible for the Cal Works program. Management claimed the union did not sign off on it. Management had not sent it to the union for their signature when they made that statement. KPFK management has, as of Monday, still not put through the paperwork in order for the staff to receive this benefit from the state.
- There is still a discrepancy about:
– Seniority pay
-Pension funds owed
It seems management is contesting these monies; management is anticipating litigation over these monies.
- KPFK/Pacifica collected the union dues from staff salaries as usual – but for the previous six months did not send those monies to the union. SAG-AFTRA could have kicked our staff out of the union but did not. It is not known if those funds have since been paid to SAG-AFTRA.
- At least one staff member, with a critical position – the webmaster – was terminated with no reason given. Web donations are somewhere between $150,000-$200,000 a year.
- The union host, although offering to work 100% for 50% pay, had her show cut and half her days given to volunteers.
- The subscriptions manager and person who runs ours fund drives, also a shop steward, is or was in the hospital; cause unknown. Management claimed Tues night at the finance meeting it was not work related.
- The other person now out sick was not a union person. It is not known if she is or was in the hospital but claimed exhaustion for overwork due to filling in to replace the subscriptions manager for the fund drive.
- Due to these two absences, KPFK’s GM cannot verify any of the fund drive tallies and can only guess at an overall total to date.
- Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel, is advising KPFK’s GM in these matters against the SAG-AFTRA union staff.
Suggested question to ask Save KPFA folks:
Do you condemn the CURRENT regime’s extensive union – busting tactics at KPFK?
The massive cutbacks and layoffs, all done without any union negotiating was just the start. There are over half a dozen union grievances that have been filed and arbitration on all these complaints is set to happen during the first weeks of November. Add to that the intimidation and hostile tactics to intimidate the staff and you have classic union busting that Walmart would be proud of.
A KPFK Staffer
Source: KPFK Staff