The union representing KPFA’s paid workers believes Pacifica management is preparing to move ahead with layoffs of more than a quarter of the station’s staff, including core shows such as the Morning Show, Against the Grain, Hard Knock Radio and the KPFA Evening News, along with other vital positions at the station. (For more on what’s behind the cuts, see this just-off-the-press article by Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar.)
KPFA’s union workers are inviting all listeners and concerned community members to join them for an informational picket:
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4 at NOON
Pacifica National Office
1925 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley
Pacifica’s executive director, Arlene Engelhardt, appeared on the Morning Show last week to talk about a plan to replace KPFA’s paid staff with volunteers, which would dramatically affect much of KPFA’s programming.
Engelhardt has rejected most of the alternative proposals put forward in a Sustainable KPFA Budget backed by workers, the local station board, and KPFA management, and refused to reveal her own salary and those of other high-level managers. While Pacifica’s plan would lay off a large portion of the union staff, the Sustainable Budget would reduce bureaucratic overhead and board expense rather than cut on-air programming.
KPFA’s union, CWA Local 9415, asks “listeners and the larger progressive and labor community to take a stand against union busting at America’s first listener-sponsored radio station” on November 4. Both the San Francisco Labor Council and the Alameda Labor Council have unanimously passed strong resolutions condemning Pacifica for its anti-union activities.
Listener-sponsors have been contacting the executive director with letters of support for KPFA’s staff and programming, some of which we’ve reprinted here.