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New York City Central Labor Council,
AFL-CIO Resolution 4-19-01


In Support of Fired WBAI Workers

WHEREAS, Pacifica Radio has been a voice of progressive community based radio in the United States for over 50 years; and

WHEREAS, WBAI-FM for over 40 years has been a voice of community activism in the New York metropolitan area; and

WHEREAS, over the holiday weekend of December 22 - 25, 2000 the Pacifica Foundation, owners of WBAI-FM in New York City and four other radio stations in the United States fired and banned various members of UE Local 404 without just cause and without the due process guaranteed them in the existing collective bargaining agreement between the parties; and

WHEREAS, over the aforementioned holiday weekend the Pacifica Foundation changed the locks on the doors of the station and has restricted access to WBAI-FM, New York's listener sponsored community radio station; and

WHEREAS, precious dollars raised from listeners are being used by the Pacifica Foundation to engage the services of union busting consultants and law firms such as Epstein, Becker and Green; and

WHEREAS, Amy Goodman, a member of AFTRA and UE Local 404, the host of the award winning Pacifica Radio program "Democracy Now" has been summarily banned in violation of the UE contract from all local programming by WBAI management; and

WHEREAS, the Pacifica Foundation and WBAI management have instituted a gag rule barring on air discussion with the listeners of the on-going crisis at Pacifica Radio; and

WHEREAS, said gag rule has been selectively enforced only against those who oppose the views of the Pacifica Foundation and WBAI management; and

WHEREAS, WBAI management interrupted and threw off the air the Hon. Major Owens, Member of Congress while being interviewed by Ken Nash regarding the crisis at Pacifica Radio; and

WHEREAS, Ken Nash, a member of District Council 37, AFSCME and Mimi Rosenberg, a member of the International Union, UAW, who are both members of UE Local 404 at WBAI-FM and co-producers and hosts of the long running "Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report" have been banned from the WBAI airwaves; and

WHEREAS, "Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report," WBAI's only regular labor oriented program has been cancelled; and

WHEREAS, free speech, the voice of labor, working men and women and progressive politics must not be squelched;

RESOLVED, that the New York CityCentral Labor Council, AFL-CIO, calls on the Pacifica Foundation and WBAI-FM management to:

1. rehire the fired members of UE Local 404;

2. lift the banning of all other members of UE Local 404;

3. stop wasting precious listener money on union busting consultants and attorneys;

4. restore "Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report," with producers and hosts Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg; and

5. lift the gag rule which stifles free speech and freedom of expression;

RESOLVED, that the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO endorses the April 28,2001 march to Defend Free Speech Radio and Labor Rights over the Brooklyn Bridge to WBAI-FM's studios at 120 Wall Street, Manhattan.

Submitted by NYC Central Labor Council Executive Board Member Phil Wheeler, Director, Region 9A UAW.

Approved By the NYC Central Labor Council Executive Board meeting on April 19, 2001, without dissent.


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