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Union-busting letter sent to KBOO workers

KBOO's workers will now get the Business. Your donations at work!
I have obtained a copy of a letter sent to KBOO workers. As many now know, KBOO workers organized last month, after the KBOO Board Of Directors launched a new top-down management paradigm at the radio station. Whereas KBOO has had managers in the past, the tone of relations with the Board and its hired manager has been one of cooperation, or at least, respect. Now KBOO workers have been stripped of sabbaticals, most of their compensatory time, most accrued sick pay, et cetera, and the new manager ("Station Navigator" Lynn Fitch) has attempted to fire all of them at once.

At a cost of thousands of dollars so far, Lynn Fitch has hired Bullard Law, a notorious union-busting firm. Here is the full text of the letter sent to KBOO workers. It gets really interesting in the sixth paragraph.

TO: All KBOO Employees
FROM: Lyn Fitch, Executive Director
DATE: April 26, 2013

As many of you are aware, CWA Local 7901 recently filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"). The petition seeks to represent certain employees here at KBOO. The NLRB will supervise the election process in which our employees will decide if they want to be represented by the Union. We will be working with the NLRB to figure out issues about which employees will be included in the voting unit, when the election will be held, and those types of details.

We are currently reviewing the voting group described by the union in its petition to determine whether the group is appropriate and whether everyone in the group is eligible to vote in the election. If we can work these issues out with the NLRB, we will be able to schedule and election date without having a hearing. If we can't work out these issues with the NLRB, there will have to be a hearing so that a judge can decide which employees will be allowed to vote in the election. We'll let you know more as soon as we have more information about the details. [note: KBOO tried to designate the PM News staffer, the Volunteer Coordinator, and the Youth Coordinator--the most informed and militant members of the Staff--as "management," which would have excluded them from the election, and doubtless would have resulted in instant firing. KBOO failed and the election with all ten Union members is May 30th. --tm]

This will depend on whether we need a hearing. If we can agree on who should vote without a hearing, then the election will be held within the next six weeks or so. If we have to go to a hearing, then the election won't happen until we get a decision from the judge, which could take a month or two. [A lie--see above--tm]

Once the details are worked out, the question of whether the union will come here will be decided through a secret ballot election. The election will be held here by an NLRB agent. The election will be decided by a majority of those who actually vote on election-day. [previous sentence in bold--tm] That is why it is important for everyone who is eligible to actually cast a vote on election-day. Once it is decided who is eligible to vote, we'll let everyone know. [Note the patronizing tone--as if the NLRB and the Union would not reveal eligibility.]

UNION AUTHORIZATION CARDS [underlined in original text--tm]

Some of you may have signed petitions or authorization cards from the union. These cards are used only so the union can ask for an election. The fact that you may have signed a union authorization card does not mean that you have to vote for the union. The secret ballot you cast on election-day is totally separate from the authorization cards the union used to ask for the election. [last sentence bold--tm] How you vote on election-day is up to you, and no one will know how you vote.

GET THE FACTS! [underlined]

Whether CWA comes here to our workplace is a very important decision. It could radically change the nature of your employment relationship with KBOO.

We want to take this opportunity to remind all employees about KBOO's position on unions. KBOO has proudly and successfully carried out its responsibilities to our employees without the involvement of outside, third-party labor union representation--even while our programming and our values have historically supported social justice movements and workers [sic] rights. Throughout our history, KBOO has strived to uphold the following guiding principles: 1. fairness, honesty, and respectful treatment; 2. direct, frank, and open communication, and 3. good working conditions, wages, and benefits for all employees.

KBOO is dedicated to continuously enhancing our relationship with our employees. We respect your right to support or not support a union, but the KBOO Foundation does not agree that union representation is in the best interest of our employees or KBOO, at this critical point in our evolution. To help you make your decision, we want to make sure that you know both sides of what it means (and does not mean) to join a union, and that you will make an informed dicision about whether to sign a union authorization card or petition. [note the boilerplate here--authorization and petition is past. tm]

We'll be giving you a lot of important information in the next few weeks to make sure you can make an informed decision on election-day. All we ask is that you keep an open mind, and hear the full story of what it means (and does not mean) to have a union here before you make a decision on how to vote.

We encourage you to raise any questions you may have about the election or its potential outcomes with your supervisor, or with me. [there are ten union-eligible employees and one workplace--tm] We will do our best to provide you with the information you need as quickly as possible, within the strict legal guidelines of what we can and can't say during this election process. [end letter--tm]

homepage: homepage: http://savekboo.org