SAG-AFTRA has launched a Save Local Radio campaign to support members fighting for a better contract at Entercom’s AC KOIT-FM San Francisco. On 4/3, SAG-AFTRA launched www.savelocalradio.org/koit to encourage Bay Area listeners and the public to support the five-member bargaining unit at the station. The launch of the website and social media campaign coincided with the latest round of negotiations with a federal mediator.
On Friday, the bargaining team concluded two days of federal mediation and are still locked in a struggle with Entercom for a fair contract. The next mediation session is currently scheduled for 5/20.
“In 2007, Entercom bought KOIT and has proceeded to gut the union contract at the station, lay off employees and depend more heavily on ‘voice-tracking,’ a practice of prerecording a show with the intent of making it sound live to the otherwise unsuspecting local audience. Voice-tracking allows the company to pay employees for just a few hours of work instead of for the whole shift, so the company can make the same profits while slashing employee hours. Prerecording programs means that when local events are unfolding, there is no one on the air to react to them. Since Entercom has taken over, workers at the station have seen their pay cut, their severance halved, their duties increase and their job protections severely eroded. Entercom thinks it can get away with this because their target is a small group of people, and because they think the Bay Area is just another market where they can implement an anti-worker corporate agenda without anyone standing up to them,” said SAG-AFTRA in a release.
With the Save Local Radio campaign, KOIT staff members are hoping the public will support them in their right to have Entercom provide them a better contract for a better workday.
Entercom CEO David Field tells RBR-TVBR: “We have been trying to reach a fair agreement with our employees. We remain committed to working with them to reach an agreement. While it is tempting to respond to all of the inaccuracies contained in the statement issued by SAG-AFTRA, we would prefer not to negotiate through press releases. Suffice it to say, all of our full-time employees on KOIT have received increases in compensation in the recent past, and the company offered additional increases on the very day that SAG-AFTRA issued its press release.”