KPFA labor programmer David Bacon speaks out

Morning Show labor programmer David Bacon issued this letter about the terminations of hosts Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards-Tiekert, and KPFA’s union’s request for other staff to support them. Bacon says he believes “that the union contract and the labor rights of those two people have been violated. Their request is like a picketline…and in solidarity, I won’t cross it.” Bacon asks listeners to write Pacifica on the matter.

The South Bay Central Labor Council, the umbrella organization for over 100 unions and 110,000 workers in Santa Clara and San Benito counties, has unanimously passed a resolution supporting KPFA’s workers and calling for the Morning Show’s return. Similar resolutions had previously been passed by the Alameda County and San Francisco labor councils.

SF Board of Supes resolution pending, judge orders injunction against Pacifica

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors discussed a resolution to support KPFA workers on Tuesday, but delayed a vote until the next meeting. Supervisors Avalos, Mar, Mirkarimi and Campos have co-sponsored the measure.

At Berkeley’s Tuesday city council meeting, Mayor Tom Bates tried to get Pacifica’s executive director Arlene Engelhardt to agree to mediation over the staff issues, but Engelhardt declined. She admitted that she “skipped over” KPFA workers with less seniority than Allison and Edwards-Tiekert in the layoff process because she felt they had vague “special skills.” City council members Darryl Moore and Linda Maio both put forth resolutions supporting KPFA’s staff, but neither won enough votes to pass.

Meanwhile, Pacifica management’s attempts to throw out the votes of several staff members who voted in the recent local board election have met with a preliminary injunction from an Alameda County Superior Court judge. The judge ordered Lewis Sawyer, a staff candidate, seated on the local board.

Ways to help KPFA today: pledge, dance!

KPFA is conducting an on-air fund drive this week, and the community is responding generously. Reports from KPFA phone volunteers indicate that many listeners are also mentioning their desire for all the Morning Show’s staff to return, and for programming to be locally-controlled. We hope you’ll contribute in whatever way you feel comfortable.

Another way to is participate in SaveKPFA’s PLEDGE TO RESTORE THE MORNING SHOW (online version | mail in version), which has a goal of $80,000. So far, listeners have pledged over $42,000 — enough to return the Morning Show to the air for 6 months. Please help put us over the top!

We also encourage you to attend Bay Area Artists Unite for KPFA, a benefit this Sunday, December 19 from 7 to 10pm at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley. Admission is $15-50 sliding scale, $10 for students, and proceeds go to KPFA.