|John Labonia, WLRN's|
Here's something to consider the next time you tune in to WLRN and they're asking you to pledge your hard-earned money to "keep the station on the air."
From Miami New Times:
Miami-Dade County Public Schools and WLRN are both making serious cuts to part-time employee hours, supposedly because of Obamacare.Put another way, WLRN and the Miami-Dade County School Board have cut the hours and pay of employees who can least afford it. And just in time for Christmas.
The cutback will affect "several hundred" school employees, including substitute teachers, custodians, and security guards, according to an MDCPS spokesman. Also seeing their hours slashed are part-time WLRN employees, some of whom are paid by the school district.
Under Obamacare (officially called the Affordable Care Act, or ACA), large employers must provide health insurance to employees who work 30 hours or more.
Employees interviewed by New Times "say their hours are being cut from 30 to 25 per week."
A WLRN staffer told New Times, "No one seems to have seriously considered the alternative: that the school district pony up and pay for health insurance for all employees working at least 30 hours.
"I'm sure it would be expensive to cover us," she says. "On the other hand, Starbucks continues to offer its employees health insurance. What's wrong with this picture? What's wrong with this country? Why is nobody talking about this?
"This is a lot of money and a lot of people we're talking about. It looks like they are going to make money on our suffering."
But not everyone at WLRN is suffering.
WLRN's general manager John Labonia is doing just fine, thank you very much.
Labonia has been with WLRN since 2000, and according to one staffer, his tenure has been one of "bullying, harassment and downright evil behavior."
Labonia, at times, runs the station like some 1860s Mississippi plantation owner, thinking up subtle ways to demean and belittle station staffers, and "keep them in their place."
Here's an email Labonia sent out last year to Peter J. Maerz, the station's programming and operations manager:
From: Labonia, John D.
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 9:24 AM
To: Maerz, Peter J.
Cc: Reilly, Eileen A.; Siy, Bernadette Y.; Barrios, Mario A.; Adam, Margarette
Subject: Routine Cleaning of Radio Studios and Edit Suites
Beginning July, 1st all radio personnel will be required to perform routine dusting and light cleaning during their shifts. Bernie is going to speak with Alfred about getting some Swifter dusters and some other light cleaning materials.
Meanwhile, one station staffer told New Times that she makes so little "that she hasn't been to a sit-down restaurant in two years."
Like I said, he's doing just fine.
While his staffers struggle to provide for their families this Christmas, Labonia pulls down a hefty salary - paid for, in part, by Miami-Dade County taxpayers - and lives in a half-million dollar home that sits on a pleasant cul-de-sac in Weston.
Merry Christmas, John!
|WLRN General Manager John Labonia lives in a |
very nice house in Weston.
UPDATE: Just a few hours after the New Times article appeared online, WLRN's programming and operations manager, Peter J. Maerz, sent the following email to the station's staffers:
From: Maerz, Peter J.
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 5:16 PM
Subject: Thank you
Before I leave for my holiday/furlough period, I want to thank you all for all that you do. I know my thanks will not help to ease the hardships caused by altered work schedules and other difficult conditions here, but I do want to offer them just the same. You guys are the core, the heart of this enterprise. WLRN Radio would cease to exist without you. So thank you for always being there, always doing what’s asked of you and then some, day after day, week after week. You’ve made us what we are and will help to make us what we hope to be.
I hope your holidays are peaceful and fulfilling.