Bizarre strike ends in Washington


Staffers at Spanish non-comm KDNA-FM in Granger, WA will go back to work today, June 15, after striking since May 16th. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that station management and the strikers have agreed to binding arbitration on the fate of two employees who were fired.

The irony is that KDNA was established 29 years ago as a voice for farm worker rights. Now that pro-worker organization has been dealing with its own labor issues.

Tensions began building last summer when long-time director Ricardo Garcia stepped down and Maria Fernandez took over running the station. Her management style, more business-like than they were used to, didn’t sit well with some employees. Early this year the employees voted to unionize, joining a Teamsters Union local.

When Fernandez fired two employees, she said it was for poor performance. They said it was because of their union-organizing activities. Employees walked out and began picketing the station.

KDNA remained on the air, using volunteers, some of whom were distressed at having to cross picket lines to keep their beloved radio outlet operating, and network fare. Today, just shy of a month after the strike began, the paid staffers will be back behind the mics and performing other functions at the station.