Unfair WBAI Management Tactics

Date sent:        Tue, 30 Sep 1997 00:40:20 -0400
From:             "R. Paul Martin" <rpmartin@interport.net>

WBAI Management is after a Shop Steward.

Last week WBAI/UE Local 404 filed grievances against two official
warnings issued to WBAI Business Director and Shop Steward Sybil Wong.

Management had issued the first official warning saying that Sybil had
had unexcused absences for two days earlier in September.  The memo from
Management was full of extra warnings about "abandonment of job" and
stuff like that.  WBAI GM Valerie Van Isler claimed that she'd
repeatedly asked the Receptionist if Sybil had called in and he'd said
that she hadn't.

But Sybil had indeed been ill and had called in.  In fact, when informed
of the Management memo, the WBAI Receptionist said he'd remembered
taking the messages from her to Van Isler on both days when she was
absent.  He has sent Van Isler a memo saying that Sybil had called in.
So the Union is fighting this obviously unfair piece of harassment of a
Shop Steward.

The second official warning claims that, at a WBAI Local Advisory Board
meeting, Sybil called Local Board member and former WBAI GM Frank
Millspaugh "an asshole," this Management memo ends with threats of job
termination.  Well, Sybil is the Paid Staff Representative to the WBAI
Local Board, and Van Isler is misrepresenting what she said.  Wong is a
full fledged Board member, and has all the rights of any other Board
members.  But WBAI Management is trying to endanger her job by twisting
something she said as a Board member.

The real reason behind this underhanded attack is that Wong asks
questions on the Board, questions about money and questions about what
the Board is doing both locally and in terms of the current crisis with
the Pacifica National Board.  When WBAI GM Van Isler reports to the WBAI
Local Board she not infrequently lies, sometimes by omission, sometimes
by just flat out making things up.  Sybil doesn't let the lies go by and
Van Isler gets embarrassed by this sometimes.  Also, Sybil doesn't play
the game of silently accepting the actions, inactions and "business as
usual" agenda of the Local Board.  She has challenged them on a number
of occasions.  Because of this, some of the powers on the WBAI Local
Board would like to see Sybil go.

It should be pointed out that Frank Millspaugh is one of the WBAI
representatives to the Pacifica National Board.  Mr. Millspaugh has a
fetish about voting though - he won't do it.  He refuses to vote on
motions at the Local Board and says he doesn't vote at the National
Board meetings either.  So he's a representative who won't vote as
mandated on positions taken by the WBAI Local Board.  I'm thinking that
maybe Sybil ought to have called him an asshole.

Our UE Rep. informs us that legally Sybil is protected by her status as
both a Shop Steward and a seated member of the WBAI Local Board.  WBAI
Management's actions are just attempts to strike at a Shop Committee
that's not knuckling under to them.

Sybil's job as Business Director of WBAI is in the CBU.  WBAI Management
is trying to make her job a Management position.  Her's was the other
case included in the NLRB decision that also kept the Unpaid Staff in
the Union at WBAI.

PS - for a few years the Unpaid Staff representative to the WBAI Local
Board was Valerie Van Isler, who went along with the Board on everything
and became their wonderful friend.  That's how she eventually got her
current job.

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