Thursday, August 11, 2011

Radio On Strike

 It used to happen in this country. People used to band together and go on strike and it was a good thing. In the 1930s it was to stop pay cuts, limit child labor, end company scrip, and so many other inhumane practices of industry in that era. In the 1980s it sort of fizzled after President Regan [R] went to war against the middle class. I was reading a back issue of a trade magazine and found the image below and it got me thinking. These days the only strike that shuts down a radio station is a lightning strike.
My gut feeling was that they were very rare. Strikes are traditionally the tool of people that perform manual labor, blue collar workers. In general, white collar workers don't strike. It's a generalization, but it's fairly accurate. So to that end I have compiled a list of Radio-related strikes and their dates. This is limited to white collar staff: writers, producers, announcers, musicians etc. I have excluded the strikes of TV staff, radio manufacturers, and telegraph operators as those are not strictly radio-related. This is an incomplete list, but I have hopes that readers may make a few additions. I found many of these in the book The Encyclopedia Of Strikes In American History  By Aaron Brenner. Also excluded are the occasions when a union threatened to strike and management made concessions. Those events are poorly recorded, and I am not confident I coulld make a proper list of those.

2011 - AFTRA strike on record labels [here]
2005 - CBC Radio Strike
1982 - AFTRA strike on WINS-AM
1978 - AFTRA strike on advertising agencies
1977 - WBAI Pacifica Radio strike
1974 - WAOK-AM
1974 - AFTRA strike WWDJ
1970 - KZAP-FM staff sit down strike
1968 - KMPX-AM
1967 - AFTRA100 radio station strike
1965 - WSIM-AM, Radio and Television Broadcast Technicians
1962 - KFWB-AM
1958 - CBFT(Radio-Canada CBC) Radio producers strike
1958 - MGA Studio Musicians  (later re-merged into AFM)
1948 - AFM recording  ban
1948 - The Radio Writers' Guild
1947 - WCKY-AM Radio technicians strike  (IBEW)
1944 - NABET engineers at NBC
1942 - AFM recording  ban (2 years)
1941 - ASCAP radio strike
1936 - Marine Radio Operator Strike (MEBA)
1938 - WTCN-AM News Staff
1935 - ARTA strike at Macay Radio & Telegraph Co. 
1921 - Marine Radio Operator Strike (MEBA)


I  keep this list updated at a static page here