“What do ex-cons and trade unions in California have in common?” With those words, KTTV Fox 11 Vice-President and General Manager Kevin Hale begins his latest editorial criticizing California’s High Speed Rail Project, specifically a hiring policy that gives preferential treatment to disadvantaged workers.
“They are defining disadvantaged workers as former criminals and some union workers,” Hale says.
Mr. Hale is certainly entitled to his opinion about the bullet train, but when he starts lumping together criminals and union workers, I have to object.
His true anti-union colors are showing with that distortion of the facts.
Mr. Hale fails to mention in his editorial that the High Speed Rail Project also gives preferential treatment to several other groups, including veterans, single parents, former foster children, high school dropouts and the homeless.
But you’ll notice Mr. Hale doesn’t associate veterans, foster children or single parents with former criminals. Only union workers – who form the bulk of his work force at Fox 11 – are linked with ex-cons.
Perhaps Mr. Hale is not feeling too kindly towards organized labor because engineers, editors, producers and other members of NABET [National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians] Local 53 have refused to accept substantial cuts in wages and benefits that he’s been demanding during contract negotiations over the last two years.
Perhaps he’s upset the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor voted for a strike sanction against Fox 11 and sister station KCOP if NABET 53 workers are locked out or go on strike.
Perhaps he doesn’t like getting hundreds and hundreds of postcards from our supporters telling him they will boycott Fox 11 and its advertisers until he negotiates a fair and equitable contract with his employees.
What exactly is Mr. Hale trying to tell us? You can see his editorial and decide for yourself.
“I’d like to hear your Point of View,” says Hale. “Send me an email at POV@ FOX11.com.”
Do us a favor and take Mr. Hale up on his offer. Send him an email and let him know what you think about associating union workers with criminals. You can also join our “Turn Off Fox 11” campaign by visiting us on Facebook. “Like” our page and share our story with your Facebook friends.
(Steve Ross is President of National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 53. His post first appeared on Labor’s Edge and is republished with permission.)