KPFA Local 1412 Letter of Solidarity
August 26,1996

On letterhead of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Local 1412 (5464 Foothill Blvd, Oakland CA 94601, 510-534-4772).

Open Letter - 2 From U.E. Local 1412 26 August 1996

For some time now, the progressive and community radio communities have been concerned about charges and counter-charges that Pacifica Foundation has used a union-busting firm to advise it in its union relations and negotiations at Pacifica's three union stations - KPFA in Berkeley, KPFK in Los Angeles and WBAI in New York. In the interest of contributing to the spirit of cooperation and commitment that has marked relations between management and staff at KPFA, this second open letter from U.E. Local 1412, KPFA, further clarifies the union's position with regard to recent events within KPFA and Pacifica.

* First, Pacifica claims to have been unaware, when they hired the American Consulting Group (ACG) that it was a union-busting enterprise. ACG is a project of The Center for Human Resources, Inc., based in Costa Mesa, California. According to the AFL-CIO, and several unions we have check with, including the Teamsters and the Hotel and Restaurant Workers, ACG has a documented history of serving the management of various companies as union-busting consultants.

* Second, Pat Scott, Executive Director of Pacifica, states that ACG was never hired to negotiate contracts at any Pacifica station. Why is it, then, that a representative of ACG has been doing just that at KPFK for many months now? Glenn Haynes is the ACG consultant who is actually negotiating the union contract with the KPFK local, on behalf of management. When Mr. Haynes' phone number was called by this union, the phone was answered, "ACG."

* Third, Pat Scott claims that ACG did not write the boilerplate contract that was presented to KPFK and discovered by the KPFA union. If ACG did not write the sample contract, who did? If Pat Scott or someone else within Pacifica wrote that contract, all the worse. This document contained, in its very first article, language that would eliminate almost the entire membership of Local 1412. Article I - Recognition: "The union shall be the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all office, clerical, and technical employees of radio station KPFA excluding all on-air personnel, volunteer workers, and all other employees, guards, and supervisors as defined in the Act." Later language in that document prohibits legitimate union activities, and even requires that union stewards discourage unit members from these activities. For example, "Article IX - No Strike: Neither the union or any of its agents nor any of its member will collectively, concertedly, or in any manner whatsoever engage in, incite or participate in any picketing, strikes, sit-downs, stay-ins, slow-downs, boycotts, work stoppages, or sympathy strikes during the term of this agreement. ... the duly-authorized representatives of the union shall use their best efforts on behalf of the union to actively encourage the employees engaging in a violation of this article to cease such conduct."

* Fourth, in a letter dated July 2, 1996, and directed to "Public and Community Broadcasters" Pat Scott outlines the great benefits package that currently exists for KPFA Local 1412 staff. She neglected to mention, however, that the contract proposed by KPFK management, and the contract that the KPFA union believed would be presented to its members, would virtually eliminate most or all of those very benefits!

* Finally, members of the management team at KPFA have made reference, on various occasions, to this union's initial open letter as responsible for the "lack of success" of fundraising drives. The KPFA staff members of Local 1412 work very hard during marathon periods to raise the money that runs this station, as well as Pacifica. We wonder if KPFA management has queried Pacifica management as to whether contracting with a known union busting firm might not raise questions in the minds of listeners regarding their continued support.

We again assert our intention to work cooperatively and amicably with KPFA management to create a just and equitable contract when negotiations open once again next year. We support our union sisters and brothers at KPFK as they struggle through a very difficult negotiation period, made all the more difficult by the use of ACG and proposed union-busting contract provisions by management. We remain hopeful that, here at KPFA, the management and union staff can continue to work together to create (in the words of Pat Scott) "outstanding, thoughtful and accessible programming which will bring in listeners who can use the information Pacifica and our member stations provide to educate themselves and organize around critical issues of the day."

cc: KPFA Local Board

Pacifica National Board
Union Stewards, KPFK
Union Stewards, WBAI