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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Labor & Workers
KPFA and the Truth About the Berkeley Honda Resolution
The KPFA Concerned Listeners group includes two present board members who were involved
in preventing KPFA from endorsing the Berkeley Honda strike. Chandra Hauptman was the
author of the resolution to support the strikers and talks about what happened.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BERKELEY HONDA RESOLUTION
By Chandra Hauptman
Listener-Member, KPFA Local Station Board
Chandra Hauptman <chcats [at] lmi.net>
October 12, 2006
I am the author of the KPFA Local Station Board’s (LSB) resolution in support of the Berkeley Honda workers, who held a 10 month strike against the new Berkeley Honda management.* The resolution was first introduced to the KPFA LSB at its August 2005 meeting. It took the LSB nine months to act on this resolution. The only reason the board was able to approve this resolution is because I threatened to go public, at the April 2006 LSB meeting, by exposing the names of the two people who prevented this resolution from being approved by the LSB for the prior 8 months. Ironically, the April 2006 LSB meeting was held in a San Jose union hall.
A lot of misinformation is being circulated by the two previously unnamed board members, and their allies, about why they prevented this resolution from being approved. So I have decided to go public with their names and to correct their "mis-statements" as well as to answer the questions most people are asking:
Question #1: Why was this resolution drafted?
Answer: I drafted this resolution, after hearing an announcement on KPFA in July 2005, about a rally in support of the then striking Berkeley Honda workers. I attended this rally and was very disturbed to hear about the reasons for the strike including the firing of older workers, reduction of pension benefits and changes to the health insurance plan without union consent. I felt these issues had national implications so I drafted a resolution for the board to support the striking workers.
Question #2: Why did it take nine months for it to be acted upon and approved?
Answer: The reason it took nine months for this resolution to be approved is because two board members, SARV RANDHAWA and MARK HERNANDEZ, prevented this item from being heard by the board. Each month, either Sarv or Mark voiced an objection to this item going forward on the LSB’s consent calendar. After a few attempts to get this resolution approved, I started writing emails to all members of the LSB prior to each board meeting. I asked if anyone had objections to this resolution to please make these objections known to me and to the LSB. I also offered to discuss these objections so they could be resolved prior to each board meeting. Month after month my email appeals were met with complete silence. No one said why he/she was objecting. No one came forward to state publicly why he/she continued to prevent this resolution from going forward.
The first and only time this resolution was approved by the KPFA LSB was at the April 2006 meeting, two days before the Berkeley Honda strike was settled!
* The Berkeley Honda workers strike, now settled, was held from July 2005 - April 2006.