WBAI's AFTRA Shop Steward and another Paid Staff member testified to the PNB that there were problems of violence and an atmosphere of intimidation at WBAI. And then the iGM said that others had been downplaying the violence problem at WBAI and that she had been the victim of verbal abuse more than three times in the previous month. She said that she was not going to take the abuse. The PNB asked the iGM and the PD about their working relationship and attacks against the iGM. The PD said that people were just mistaking passion for attacks. The PNB directed the ED to look into the abuse and intimidation problem at WBAI and to get some mediation to fix the friction between the iGM and the PD.
Local Station Board Meeting
The faction had given notice for an executive session for this meeting. I speculated that maybe they were going to try to fire the iGM. Hours before the meeting the iGM said she couldn't attend. The agenda didn't have the executive session on it. I asked the Chair if the iGM's absence was the reason for no executive session. The chair said no.
Mariana Gaston resigned by letter and Berta Silva took her place. Both are faction operatives.
The GMSS election was held and Marion Borenstein, Steve Brown and Lawrence Lucas were elected to it.
During the Treasurer's Report I made a motion to have the Treasurer report to the LSB on what happened to the cash receipts from the Riverside 9/11 fundraiser held in 2003, and why they took months to get back to the station. The faction voted against this, of course, and the motion failed.
A motion was made to have the LSB look at the comments in the PD evaluation surveys. The motion was defeated.
A motion to censure a Staff LSB member failed.
Local Station Board Meeting
This meeting started 45 minutes late, and this marked the start of the faction's current strategy of attacking the iGM. They're claiming that some deal exists whereby they get to attack LSB members by
name on the front page of the WBAI Web site, of course there's an election coming up. In fact no such deal exists. The bigger issue was that faction leader Bob Lederer had gotten laid off from his temporary job at WBAI. All sorts of motions came from the faction operatives in an attempt to intimidate the iGM into extending patronage to the faction leader. Bob Lederer issued a signed waiver of all his confidentiality rights so the other faction members could discuss the issue. He didn't debate or vote on the motions himself, he let the other faction members do it for him.
Comment: This is a gross misuse by Bob Lederer of his position as an LSB member and a Director of the Pacifica Foundation. The faction likes to talk about being pro-Union but this action shows that they're really just interested in patronage and don't care about the Unionized workers at WBAI. Here are some facts: Bob Lederer was never hired as a permanent worker, many workers who have suffered layoffs and cutbacks have seniority over Bob Lederer. It should also be noted that Bob Lederer was one of those responsible for the inflated FY05 budget which caused the layoffs and cutbacks. I support the unionized Paid Staff of WBAI and hope that the station can in the future restore the cuts that have happened.
In her report the iGM called “disturbing” the on air attack on a LSB member earlier that day during a faction dominated LSB Report. Still, no faction member has similarly denounced Eric Hufschmid a year after WBAI made him famous despite his published views which clearly constitute race hate. The iGM noted that she's cultivating major donors, the new Union Contract will require an extra $45,000 in bonuses and salary increases and that WBAI has 67,000 lapsed subscribers. The faction attacked her during her presentation.
During Public Comment a number of Latino producers raised issues of discrimination by the PD and violence at the station. This latter complaint led to an uproar from the faction, including some LSB members. Faction members used the occasion to attack the iGM.
The LSB passed a motion from the faction demanding that the iGM not mention corruption with in WBAI anymore. They phrased it as supporting Staff, but we all know whom the iGM was really talking about.
Page Five of this newsletter