Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The WBAI Severance Pay Mess
The following was posted anonymously to the BlueBoard this evening. Someone should have the courage to read it on the air.
WBAI should do a show about the emergency situation now facing the laid off workerswhose unemployment benefits are now expiring and the Federal/State extended benefits program was terminated at the end of 2013, meaning they get only 26 weeks of benefits and thats it. Period. No extensions of any kind. No further help from the state.
The purge happened the second week of August, 2013
... do the math.
(If anyone has any news or evidence to the contrary, I am sure all of your unemployed comrades would be very happy to learn about it)
The silence is deafening on the question of severance, leaving all of these people out in the cold to fend for themselves... many of these people are older, unable to find work of any kind due to the shifting sands of technology, obsolete skill sets, age discrimination and the horrendous economy. Some have serious health issues... I wonder how many people here are even aware that our beloved Uncle Sidney almost died a few weeks ago after his medical insurance was illegally terminated and he was unable to obtain a very expensive medication that he has been taking for years and unfortunately at this time can not live without.
This shit is no joke. You are playing too many games with peoples lives. If Sidney dies because of your negligence, the blood is on YOUR hands, Pacifica management.
I was going to say, I hope you can live with your conscience, but I know my words will be wasted because you heartless bastards clearly don't have any.
The total disregard for the lives and well being of your laid off colleagues and all of this empty talk about unions and solidarity is making me sick. The hypocrisy surrounding this organization never ceases to amaze me. You have the need for some serious social activism right here, right now taking care of your own... so where the fuck are all of these so called social activists? And these laid-off employees faithfully paid their Union dues for years and years, so where is the Union now when they need the help most? Why is severance not being treated as a priority and the dire emergency situation that it now has become?
If you want an idea for a truly worthwhile project, how about taking some of that precious airtime being wasted on the endless recitation of meaningless slogans, repeated rebroadcasts of mindless blather and annoying hour long programs of ADD inducing sound bytes, etc, and use it to do a show to advise former employees some tactical skills on survival, how and where to apply for further benefits they may possibly be eligible for, where to find additional resources and help, free or low cost legal representation, (especially for those who are soon facing eviction), as well as other relevant issues I haven't thought of yet.
How about brainstorming the creation of some kind of opportunity for these laid off workers to generate some income for themselves while they are waiting for their severance (obligatory maniacal laugh), or retirement or disability or public assistance to kick in. These people need something to live on NOW.
To my fellow listeners, I would like to offer this appeal:
Take that money you were going to donate to the station, and give it directly to your favorite laid off producer instead. Please believe me when I say, they need it a hell of a lot more and will put it to far better use then this perpetually sinking ship of a station.
Sadly, the WBAI of the past is gone forever and it ain't never coming back. It has been a noble struggle, but times have changed and it is simply not possible to reclaim what has been lost. The radio station will be reborn as some new incarnation... we all mourn the loss, but due to so many years of infighting, incompetence and mismanagement, change is inevitable at this point. Let's all keep working towards the best possible outcome, but considering the most positive use of our resources and not waste what little we have on an impossible pursuit.
The radio station will survive, but that favorite producer of yours may not be quite so lucky. So look them up, reach out and get in contact with him or her, find out if there is anything you can do to help them get through this tough time imposed on them through no fault of their own... I know there are a lot of good people out there who really do care and who do keep that spirit of activism alive and sincerely want to help.
Also, let's keep the issue of the severance obligation in the forefront... the management has gotten away with ignoring it for far too long and it is causing too many people to suffer, possibly to die or become homeless. Please help.