Bi-Mart workers censored

EUGENE - A dozen radio stations in Oregon's Willamette Valley and and eastern portion of the state are refusing to air a 60-second message from the the Teamsters Union representing Bi-Mart warehouse workers who are trying to win a first contract.

Workers voted more than a year ago to join Local 206, but since then Bi-Mart has orchestrated an open anti-union campaign, including firing union supporters, the Teamsters said.

A National Labor Relations Board investigation found Bi-Mart guilty of unfair labor practices, so the warehouse workers produced a radio ad publicizing the facts and encouraging the public to shop elsewhere until Bi-Mart started playing by the rules.

"Everything in the ad was verifiably true, but no radio station was willing to play the spot," said Tom Leedham, secretary treasurer of Local 206. "This is an outrageous case of censorship."

As a result of Bi-Mart's actions, the Oregon AFL-CIO has place the company on its "Do Not Patronize List."

May 21, 1999 issue

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