East Bay
East Bay
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Stop Union Busting At KPFA: Recognize The Unpaid Staff Organization
by KPFA Voices For Justice
Saturday Apr 19th, 2008 10:14 AM
The KPFA management are involved in trying to bust the Unpaid Staff Organization UPSO at KPFA and they are being supported by the Concerned Listeners Group. This group is also supported by Alameda Central Labor Council head Sharon Cornu and other top offiicals. Labor Staffers and representatives on the KPFA unfortunately are actively supporting these union busting tactics.
Stop Union Busting At KPFA
Recognize The Unpaid Staff Organization

One of the principles of the trade union movement is the right to organize. The Unpaid Staff Organization at KPFA represents the majority of the volunteer staff at the station who do more than 60% of the programming.
Unfortunately, the management of KPFA including Interim Manager Lemlem Rijio and Interim Program Director Sasha Lilley have opposed the recognition of the unpaid staff organization. This is despite the fact that the KPFA Local Station Board along with the Pacifica National Board have both called on the station management to recognize UPSO. Adding to this travesty is that the Concerned Listeners CL grouping labor representatives on the Local Station Board including labor educator Warren Marr and his wife Alameda Central Labor Council staffer Susan McDonough along with Dianne Enriquez, a staffer for Young Workers United have also opposed the recognition of the staff organization and supported these union busting tactics. At a past meeting, Rijio justified her refusal to recognize the UPSO because of "personality differences". This is what every boss would say if they could use that as an excuse not to recognize a union. Alameda Central Labor Council Secretary Sharon Cornu was also involved in getting the endorsement of this same Concerned Listeners grouping without allowing all the KPFA board candidates the right to be interviewed by the Alameda Labor Council Executive Board and membership.
This kind of bureaucratic and undemocratic tactics is weakening the labor movement and is part and parcel of the battle now going on in the SEIU against corporate unionism and "labor-management partnerships".
It also coincides with the successful efforts of Sharon Cornu and here supporters to demand that Green Party Oakland candidate Rebecca Kaplan change her registration to the Democratic Party before the Labor Council would support and endorse her.
Cornu also sought to prevent the ILWU Local 10 from having a speaker at a past anti-war protest because she disagreed with their more militant trade unionism and for labor action against the war. Her main political activity is supporting the Democratic Party and in fact she is on the Democratic Party Central Committee in the East Bay.
These coercive and reactionary tactics have no place in the labor movement and the silence of Cornu and the Alameda CLC leadership about the union busting at KPFA must be challenged by all trade unionists and workers who want a democratic KPFA and a democratic labor movement.
Call Sharon Cornu at 510-632-4242 or email her at sharoncornu [at] and let her know what you think about these tactics and for her to support the recognition of the KPFA Unpaid Staff Organization UPSO
KPFA Voices For Justice Radio

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by bystander
Sunday Apr 20th, 2008 9:40 AM
Any staffperson at KPFA is familiar with the problems that have been associated with UPSO in the past. The organization seemed unwieldy. There were problems with getting quorums for elections and questions over who was eligible and exactly what those qualifications were. These were not just problems in the last year but problems over the last five. A couple of years ago, it was said that anyone could join UPSO, all they needed to do was fill out a form and invent a connection to KPFA.

While I am not management and can't speak for management, I believe that it is concerns about transparency and eligibility that caused management to act as they did. If UPSO came back with ways to verify their members actually contributed to the station the number of hours required, that would be a big step.

There are also questions as to what actual benefits UPSO brought to it's members. Being composed of volunteers, they do not engage in collective bargaining with management as CWA does. They don't have a contract that provides a framework for settling greivances. It is not clear how UPSO directly makes employees worklife better. From a perspective outside of UPSO,It seemed that UPSO was only active during actual elections.

I think revising the organization of UPSO and it's administrative processes, will be a more fruitful step than simply hurling charges at management
by fed up
Sunday Apr 20th, 2008 9:36 PM
The real union buster here is the saboteur who keeps posting anonymous hit pieces on KPFA, the Democratic Party, and organized labor . . . Steve Zeltzer. He won't sign his name to this posting because he KNOWS he has no credibility, either at KPFA--where he broke up a nascent labor collective and then used its name to try to secure airtime; or in electoral politics--he came in dead last in a crowded field last time he ran for something; or in organized labor, where he claims to speak on behalf of working people despite the fact that he hasn't worked a day in years, and where he seems to join coalitions with the sole purpose of demolishing them.

Steve is doing what he does best: trying to exploit any and every tension in a progressive organization, stoking internal conflicts with hyperbole and anonymous attacks, and generally doing whatever he can to make sure the progressive movements of this area can't get anything done.

Imagine if all that energy went into attacking Fox News, the Republican Party, and Corporate America? Why not call Steve yourself and tell him to stop taking cheap shots at people on the same side of the barricades? Here's HIS number: (415) 641-4440
by Stop Union Busting
Monday Apr 21st, 2008 1:43 PM
Fed up obviously has a problem with telling the truth. Nothing from the statement of the Voices from Justice is untrue. What the likely KPFA staff member "fed up" is unhappy about is that the union busting at KPFA and those who support it is being exposed publicly. Fed up represents the management supporters at KPFA who were going along with the take-over until they were personally thrown out of the station in the lock-out. They now want to silence people like Miguel Molina and Francisco Herrera who was banned by the manager for activist programming. These long time programmers and staffers like "fed up" have their personal slots and power and they don't want any community imput or control at the station.
At the recent board meeting, many Local Station Board members pointed out that as a result of the incompetence of their interim manager Lemlem Rijio in refusing to have a functioning community advisory board CAP, hundreds of thousands of dollars could be with held from going to KPFA. Instead of demanding that either Lemlem do her job or be removed "fed up" and the Concerned Listener CL supporters on the board wanted the board members not to discuss it publicly at the meeting. Another example of being "afraid of the truth".
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


donate now

$ 177.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network