NLRB issues complaint against WBAI Management for Unfair Labor Practices

R. Paul Martin (Chief Steward) May 19, 1999
Errol Maitland (Shop Steward) 212-209-2819
Bruce Klipple (Union Representative)

 P r e s s  R e l e a s e

 For immediate release

NLRB Files Complaint  Against WBAI Management on  Unfair Labor Practices

UE Local 404 Resists Union Busting by Pacifica Foundation

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against the Management of radio station WBAI 99.5 FM, and its parent Pacifica Foundation, for Unfair Labor Practices.  This formal complaint was prompted by WBAI Management's tactic of firing or harassing Unionized workers from their jobs and then renaming those positions as Management jobs and filling them with Management personnel.

Over the past two years WBAI Management has targeted certain Collective Bargaining Unit (CBU) positions at the progressive radio station for elimination.  The work done by these Union members was then reassigned to Management personnel, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. At no time did WBAI Management attempt to bargain with the Union over these jobs.

The Complaint and Notice of Hearing issued by the NLRB is tantamount to an indictment of WBAI Management.  It sets a hearing date of September 13, 1999.

The Union at WBAI, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 404, is glad that the NLRB has issued this complaint after a year and a half of WBAI Management's delaying tactics.  WBAI Management's theft of key jobs from the CBU has been an integral part of the overall attempt by WBAI Management and the Management of the Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, to bust the Union at the station. Other tactics have included refusal to negotiate a Contract that will cover the entire CBU at WBAI, demands for give backs, demands that would eviscerate the grievance process, demands for conversion of some Staff to "Employees At Will," and other anti-labor provisions aimed at removing the Union as an effective bargaining agent for the workers at the station.

Pacifica was originally counseled in these tactics by The American Consulting Group, a Union busting firm.

Tactics such as these have been repeated at the other Unionized stations in the Pacifica Foundation.  Currently the Staff of KPFA in Berkeley, CA are publicly demanding the reinstatement of personnel at that station who have been unjustly fired.

The Union has provided copies of the NLRB documents on the World Wide Web starting at  Other documents can be accessed via

The Staff of KPFA have outlined their struggle at  For more background see the Free Pacifica! site

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