TORONTO, ON, Aug 19, 2008 --- Longtime news director Kristin Schwartz and at least five more volunteer hosts have been unjustly booted from CKLN community radio station without reason. “After 10 years of service to CKLN, and only six weeks after returning from a year-long parental leave, I was told that the current board of directors and I ‘do not see eye to eye’. For that reason I was terminated, effective immediately,” says Schwartz. She was fired last Monday and will be fighting the seemingly arbitrary dismissal with the backing of CUPE 1281.
Also last week, five volunteers with years of service received letters from Mike Phillips (former interim station manager dismissed by a 90 per cent vote of non-confidence in February) saying their services were no longer needed. This brings the number of dismissed volunteer programmers to over 30 since the Special General Meeting in February saw the membership vote to dismiss management and impeach the Board of Directors. Management continue, however, to occupy the station and control its funds.
Denise Benson of Mental Chatter, Nik Red of Afrotransit, Francis Yee Loy (DJ San Fran) fill-in for Afrotransit and former Full Moon host, Mano Narayanan (DJ Dialect) and Cheldon Paterson (DJ Vision) of Bruckbeat Radio have joined the long list of LGBT, racialized, First Nations, and psychiatric survivor voices silenced from the airwaves. Some of these volunteers have been at 88.1 FM for over 10 years and are a large part of the CKLN community, often holding events attended by frequent listeners.
The dismissals came after a July meeting where volunteer staff were once again successful in wrestling control from Phillips and illegitimate program director Tony Barnes when it seemed former management wished to dictate the manner in which participation was to occur. Some of the recently dismissed volunteers played a key role in holding the illegitimate management and board accountable for the inexcusable dismissals of 25 volunteers earlier this spring. At the meeting’s conclusion the membership voted not to hold elections until a resolution was reached with the dismissed programmers. Instead, Phillips has continued with these undue dismissals.
The unjustly dismissed volunteer programmers and their community supporters will continue to fight to restore CKLN as a voice for marginalized community voices, social justice and independent local music.
Nik Red (locked out volunteer, Afrotransit): 647 234 7333, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susy Alvarez (locked out volunteer, Word of Mouth): 416-996-5540, email@example.com
Lisa Skeete West (locked out volunteer, Reggaemania): firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers on the Following Programs Have Been Silenced:
HONOUR THE EARTH
LIMIN' IN DE AFRICAN DIASPORA
LOWDOWN 2 UPTOWN
NO ONE IS ILLEGAL RADIO
SATURDAY MORNING LIVE
SOUNDS OF AFRICA
WORD OF MOUTH NEWS