KCRW Underwriter Promotes “Union Avoidance”

Posted on November 6, 2013 by

During NPR’s Morning Edition, broadcast on Southern California’s public radio station KCRW, is an underwriter spot for “Labor Lawyers” Fisher & Phillips.

Turns out Fisher & Phillips represents employers and it’s not a benign management firm.

Here’s Fisher & Phillips describing on its website how it helped a manufacturing plant during a labor dispute with the machinists union:

“[O]ur firm provided advice to the company on how to weather the strike including the hiring of permanent replacement for the approximately 100 employees….  Our attorneys also advised our client regarding the legal and practical issues involved in removing the union….  As a result, today our client’s plant is union-free and more productive than before the strike.”

A national firm, Fisher & Phillips’ L.A. partner Lonnie Giamela is referenced in the promo.

The Santa Monica College-based KCRW is considered a progressive voice in the region.  Is it consistent with that image to showcase a law firm which lists among its Labor Relations Services “Desertification” and “Union Avoidance”?

Comments (8)


  1. “KCRW is considered a progressive voice in the region.” By whom? Regardless of how KCRW may be considered, it is in fact an NPR affiliate, a public radio station. It gets support from taxes paid by pro- and anti-union taxpayers, and is supposed to be a station all listeners can tune into with the expectation of hearing their viewpoints fairly represented and considered. If it turns out that this is not the case – that Americans of one political persuasion accurately consider public radio to be theirs rather than everyone’s – then we should drop the taxpayer subsidy.

    • Susan Boyd Joyce says:

      I consider KCRW a progressive voice in the region, in spite of the fact that it is unorganized. One reason that is so is because of NPR, a union shop that enables news reporters to earn a living wage with decent benefits so that it is able to report in ways so that, in your words, “all listeners can tune in[to] with the expectation of hearing their viewpoints fairly represented and considered.” You conflate – and mistake – “union” with “liberal” here, and that is just not an accurate jump to make – just ask any of my union, NRA-card-carrying, pro-life friends. Public radio makes your point precisely because it is union, at least at NPR.

  2. John Connolly says:

    Just one more note of irony in a bitterly ironic world.

    Witness the biggest single advertiser on MSNBC … BP … British Petroleum … or is that Biggest Polluter?

    Or perhaps we can ponder the recent sly renaming of the New York STATE Theater at Lincoln Center; there at the very heart and crossroads of Left-Liberal America looms … The David H. Koch Theater.

    A Big Marble, Tax-Deductible Fuck-You to we mewling Lefties who have worn-out our Visa cards with $50.00 donations to Elizabeth Warren, Sherod Brown, and the
    brilliant campaigns and dispiriting, bungling government of Barack Obama.

    GE. Boeing. Archer-Daniels-Midland. WalMart. Big Pharma. All of the very biggest Players in the smug financial “services” industry who very nearly brought our economy and nation down in ruins … they all have a voice.

    They all have the loudest voice by far across the American media spectrum.
    The classic Free Press.

    They all have access to a Free Press. Because they OWN one.
    Or a dozen, trumpeting their ideology into every ear, every home, every car … every single kid.

    Unlike the heyday of Hearst, Big Capital doesn’t literally have to OWN a “press”, they can just buy the time, the access, the eyeballs and ears without the muss and fuss of running a journalistic enterprise.
    And, how cool! … it’s all deductible as business expense or charitable contributions.

    The triumph of Madison Avenue, 50 years after its Mad Men martini mayhem.

    Remember the old, pre-Napalm, Dupont, slogan “Better Living Through Chemistry” ?(Later of course it became a ’70s druggie gag line, underlining Marx’s quip that history does indeed repeat itself … first as tragedy, then as farce).

    Well, the modern capitalist equivalent reads: “Better Domination through Research” … Market Research. Messaging. Branding.

    Whether its BP’s non-aopolgies for the Gulf disaster … they’re not sorry, they’re “making it better” … or criminally-liable Bank of America’s “Honor Our Heroes” World Series “public service” ad campaign … or the deadening On-Message-All-the-Time Congressional Republican Talking Points (every one of their Automaton-spokepeople repeating each other word-for-word) … is it any wonder that even minor-leaguers like KCRWs pet anti-union law firm gets in on the act? It’s just a couple of thousand tax-deductable dollars after all.

    Progressive and Revolutionary forces get outflanked all the time these days, because the Bad Guys have all the money, and effectively control state power; they own all the for-profit media, and have decided to use the tax code to subtly (at first) steer the non-profit media into a slobbering, fawning co-dependency which will slowly but surely stifle and tame vestiges leftist content there.

    Meanwhile, the print media shrivels, the putatively Left media like Pacifica circles is wagon of dysfunction into an ever-tightening spiral of irrelevance, and the Labor Movement regularly re-proclaims its relevance, power and independence … and again, grinds to a halt, as it tries to pry the Democratic Party knife out of its back and the Republican knife away from its throat.

    Ain’t a pretty picture.

    I’m thinking maybe New York, New England and the Pacific West should secede, and form the DeBlasio People’s Republic of Coolandia.

    Aloha Comrades!

    John Connolly

  3. Rod Bradley says:

    Aloha, John! Very well put. We need a union of “sane” states!

  4. [...] post first appeared on Labor Lou and is republished with permission.) [...]

  5. Wally Pfister says:

    Very well put John, but terribly sad and true.

  6. [...] post first appeared on Labor Lou and is republished with permission.) 2013-11-08 Lou Siegel [...]

  7. [...] post first appeared on Labor Lou and is republished with permission.) 2013-11-18 Lou Siegel, Labor Lou [...]

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