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Activists visit Epstein, Becker & Green 5-2-01

From The Pacifica Campaign:

Two events were visited today by activists concerned with the role of law firm Epstein, Becker & Green in the deepening crisis at Pacifica Radio. There was also an action in San Francisco on May day.

Los Angeles:

This morning, a supporter of the Pacifica Campaign brought the message of free speech to an Epstein Becker & Green Employment Law Seminar entitled :

How to Measure Employee Performance and Implement Effective Discipline. The lone leafletter burst into the small seminar room at the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown, interrupted the proceedings and described the leadership of EB&G and Attorney John Murdock in the attempted destruction of the Pacifica Foundation and the Pacifica Radio Network.

The 20 attendees seemed receptive to the change in pace, as the interloper moved about the room distributing Pacifica Campaign flyers that call for the removal from the Pacifica Board of EB&G attorney John Murdock, CB Richard Ellis Vice President Micheal Palmer and others.

The EB&G Attorney raced around the room grabbing the flyers from the tables. The Pacifica supporter pointed out to the attendees that the EB&G attorney was censoring them, announced the pacificacampaign.org website where they could get the information, and left the room.

New Jersey:

On Wednesday May 2, two well-dressed unidentified concerned friends (CF#1 and CF#2) registered to the Epstein Becker & Green (EB&G) First "Wednesdays Breakfast Briefing" to EB&G clients on Labor Law and Employment Issues. The event took place at the Newark Club atop Seton Hall University in Newark NJ.

EB&G attorney Robert Bernstein hosting the seminar discussed recent case law concerning companies having forced job applicants and employees to sign a consent agreement to arbitration for discrimination claims.

Att. Bernstein represented the usual jury trial as unreliable, lengthy and costly, proposing the federal or state arbitrations as more employer friendly.

At this point CF#1 asked whether att. Bernstein recommendation of a panel judge trial would lead employees to feel they were being denied a jury trial and att. Bernstein said that there were ways to make the concept more acceptable to employees.

The attendees then discussed strategies on how best to get employees to sign such consent agreements, which were viewed as human resources tools to prevent expensive and punitive litigations. CF#1 asked whether mandating arbitration on an application form might be seen as a coercive practice.

At this point CF#2 stated that he wished to give the "employee" viewpoint on the issue of unfair labor practices. He proceeded to speak about WBAI radio and how Epstein, Becker & Green had been involved in imposing a gag order and firing producers and staff...

Att. Bernstein interrupted CF#2 statement on 3 occasions. Then CF#1 stood up and stated vigorously that the attendees should hear CF#2's statement which represented personal experience but att. Bernstein refused to comply and said that this was a disruption.

CF#1 then said that there were not only labor issues in this world but that freedom of speech and civil society were important things to preserve and that EB&G was involved in the destruction of a listener sponsored community radio. But since there was no desire to inform about the truth, we would leave leaflets (the CF info sheet) and brochures (the Pacifica Campaign brochure)for all to make up their mind.

CF#1 distributed the literature to all attended and the mysterious CF departed.

May Day 2001 in San Francisco:

May Day festivities in San Francisco included a special picket of Epstein, Becker & Green's offices. More than 100 people showed up for this event, which started at 4:30 PM and lasted for one hour, after which the group marched to Justice Herman Plaza to join the Reclaim The Streets movement to Reclaim May Day that has seen tremendous energy lately in San Francisco. See SF May Day photos and reports at http://sf.indymedia.org. Lunchtime pickets occur at the EB&G offices in SF every Wednesday and Friday, from noon to 1 PM, 2 Embarcadero Center, Front Street side, 2 1/2 blocks from the Embarcadero BART station.

For more info, call 646-230-9588 or see http://pacificacampaign.org

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