I sent the following letter on Tuesday July 9th, 2019 urging the CEO of Cascade Public media urging him to recognize the decision to form a union by the workers at Crosscut and KTCS.
Dear Robert Dunlop, CEO Cascade Public Media:
As a Seattle City Councilmember and an elected representative of the city’s working people, a rank-and-file member of the public sector teachers union AFT 1789, and member of Socialist Alternative, I congratulate the workers at Crosscut and KTCS on their decision to form a union, and be organized into the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, NewsGuild-CWA 37082!
The workers have issued a statement demanding union representation, signed by nearly 90% of eligible employees. I am writing to urge you to accept the democratic decision of the workers.
I was extremely disappointed to read your response, in which you refuse to voluntarily recognize the union. Your claim that you “respect the rights of individual employees to form a collective bargaining union” rings completely hollow with your refusal to recognize that union. By essentially refusing to abide by card check neutrality, you, a public entity, are echoing the union-busting tactics so ubiquitously displayed by for-profit corporations.
Last month, my office and I stood with workers at the Frye Art Museum as they demanded union representation. Like you, the Frye Board refused to voluntarily recognize their union, forcing an NLRB election. At that election, the workers voted unanimously for union representation. Refusing to recognize the unionizing call of an overwhelming majority of workers is, in our view, an unacceptable use of public resources.
Instead of obstructing the union, you should immediately agree to begin bargaining a fair contract with the journalism staff who make Crosscut and KCTS a respected and valued source of local news. In their statement they say, “By forming a union, we are seeking a greater role in shaping decisions that affect our lives, as well as the quality of the product we deliver.” You should support them in that effort.
I urge you to recognize the union representation of journalists at Crosscut and KTCS, and immediately begin bargaining a good contract with them.
Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council, District 3