The Web page below was captured from the Pacifica Web site at an earlier date. It is no longer extant on that site and is preseved here for historical reasons.

Friday, Sept. 8, 2000

     An open letter from AFTRA regarding the so-called PNN strike

   In recent months, several unions and organizations have taken positions in support of a group of freelance reporters who are asserting that they are engaged in a "strike" against Pacifica Foundation's Network News Division. In soliciting support for their cause, some of the freelance reporters involved have repeatedly labeled Pacifica Network News as a "scab" operation.

  Please be aware that the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, ("AFTRA"), a labor union affiliated with the AFL-CIO, has represented staff employees working at Pacifica Network News for many years. During that time, Pacifica Foundation and AFTRA have maintained a productive working relationship and there is currently a collective bargaining agreement in effect.

   AFTRA has declined to participate in the ongoing protest by certain freelance reporters regarding the editorial and personnel policies of Pacifica. We have declined for at least two reasons: 1) a substantial majority of the AFTRA bargaining unit does not share the views of the protesters; and 2) the issues at hand are wholly unrelated to legitimate labor/management issues at Pacifica. Unfortunately, the irresponsible actions of a few have compelled AFTRA to issue this statement clarifying the relationship between Pacifica and AFTRA, but we remain neutral in the dispute itself. To summarize, AFTRA and Pacifica Foundation have a collective bargaining agreement over which there are no current disputes involving this matter. The freelance reporters who are protesting Pacifica's policies do not have a collective bargaining relationship with Pacifica and, to our knowledge, are not seeking one. Therefore, any assertions that staff reporters who are employed by Pacifica Network News are acting as "scabs" are completely false and slanderous.

  Thank you for your consideration.

Greg Hessinger
National Executive Director, AFTRA

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