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LABOR BEAT EMERGENCY: Loyola trying to screw Labor Express in favor of 'contempoary music'!... 'WLUW's Station Manager Sam Israel explained that the reason was to make the station

Is Loyola University trying to silence Chicago's Labor Express show after years? Chicago's only English language labor-oriented radio show, Labor Express, has been on WLUW-FM for some twenty years, but has now been suddenly told by the station (owned by Loyola University) that it will be off the air as of May 1. This is also the case for several other community-oriented shows at the station (88.7 FM, and streamed at www.wluw.org), though we do not speak for them as to whether they are organizing any protest of WLUW's decision.

It's unclear whether St. Ignatius ordered that work on behalf of "the least of my brethren" be stopped and replaced by "college music radio." But we'll see...URGENT Petition: Stop WLUW from taking Labor Express off the air!

Dear Labor/community/media activist:

Please read about the situation below, sign the petition, and email it to the addresses provided (or write your own letter).

- Jerry Mead-Lucero, Labor Express producer

- Wayne Heimbach, Labor Express producer (retired)

- Gary Brooks, Chairperson, Committee for Labor Access

- Larry Duncan, Labor Beat co-producer

Here's the situation:

Chicago's only English language labor-oriented radio show, Labor Express, has been on WLUW-FM for some twenty years, but has now been suddenly told by the station (owned by Loyola University) that it will be off the air as of May 1. This is also the case for several other community-oriented shows at the station (88.7 FM, and streamed at www.wluw.org), though we do not speak for them as to whether they are organizing any protest of WLUW's decision.

Giving only ten days' notice, without even a meeting to discuss the situation or to explore alternative solutions, is a pretty shabby way to treat a radio program which has run for two decades. In an email to Jerry Mead-Lucero, producer of Labor Express, WLUW's Station Manager Sam Israel explained that the reason was to make the station "centered on the student and college music scene".

Labor Express has always offered to provide training on covering local labor/progressive news to Loyola student interns. Labor Express Radio and other community programs not only offered internships, but have conducted internships in the past. It offered to help recruit more students to the station without sacrificing community programming. Despite their claims, WLUW has had trouble staffing the station fully with students and has as a result often run on automation instead. Indeed, May is the worst time for this change as students go on break in May. In all likelihood over the Summer the station will be on automation much of the time.

Labor Express, an hour long program airing and live-streaming Sunday nights at 8 pm, has been an indispensable source of detailed news and analysis of every important and often ignored labor story, affecting such unions as CTU, SEIU, AFSCME, National Nurses United, Teamsters, AFT, UE, NEA, Campus Clerical Workers (AFT), United Steelworkers, IWW, and non-union organizations such as Arise Chicago, Fight for 15, and ROC Chicago.

Fighting for community access on the airwaves is an important fight. We can't complain about corporate domination of media if we are not willing to defend community access to media when we have the chance. We are not asking for anything radical. Just a postponement and a meeting.

Steps to take

1. Copy and paste into an email the petition below (or write your own letter)

2. Add your signature at bottom (with any organizational affiliation if relevant)

3. Email to: < dheider@luc.edu>, < ekametas1@luc.edu>, < wluwprogramming@gmail.com>

4. cc: Jerry Mead-Lucero PETITION TO STOP WLUW FROM CANCELING LABOR EXPRESS

To: Donald Heider, Dean of School of Communications, Loyola University

Eleni Kametas, WLUW Station Manager

Sam Israel, WLUW Program Manager

Cc: Jerry Mead-Lucero, Labor Express

I am very concerned that Labor Express (8 pm - 9 pm Sunday nights on WLUW-FM) is being abruptly taken off the air (along with a number of other community-oriented programs), having been given just ten days notice. Labor Express has been the only English language labor news program in Chicago for some twenty years on your station. It provides coverage of news to the working class communities which surround -- and send students to -- Loyola University. The recent April 15 rally and march of Loyola faculty adjuncts on your Chicago campus underlines the importance of labor news to the Loyola community. The march presented a petition to the Vice President of Student Affairs which called for the administration to recognize "the freedom to organize to form unions without any employer interference or retaliation. I call upon you to halt any plans to silence this show that is so important to and unique for Chicago listeners, and to agree to a meeting with Labor Express (or any other shows threatened with cancellation requesting a meeting) at the soonest date in order to discuss a resolution to this problem.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here



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