Bill Lamb is president and general manager of WDRB-41 in Louisville.
You know him.
Lamb does those quaint little “Point of View” editorials during the evening news.
Last week, Lamb took the opportunity as president and general manager of a television station to state his “point of view” on the current status of the ongoing labor dispute between the Louisville Orchestra’s board of directors and the professional musicians.
In case you haven’t seen it, you should take a look.
First, I have to let this out: I’ve always disliked these cheap-looking editorials. They always seem to serve some personal purpose for him, not necessarily what is good for the community.
I would rather watch those middle-class kids throwing up gang signs on YouTube than be subjected to these “terrorist quality” videos detailing the opinions of a rich, middle-aged, out-of-touch white man. A low-rent Rush Limbaugh.
Now, back to the story: The musicians are claiming they have been locked out without pay or benefits since May 2011. The orchestra’s board, along with the state unemployment office, says the musicians are on strike.
The problem with Bill Lamb taking to the airwaves in this manner is that he is on the board – the very entity that has (depending on who you talk to) locked out the musicians and refuses to negotiate in good faith. Not just on the board, but the LO communications VP.
This episode was less of a “point of view” or an editorial than it was a manipulation of the public trust in order to deliver a message that the board has “dug in its heels” and is stubbornly not willing to compromise. In his attempt to take attention from the fact that his board has been negligent in discharging their main duty – raising money – Lamb has uttered some unambiguous code words.
If you have been around these things as long as I have, you will immediately recognize this type of language for what it is: A collection of wide-open threats laced with federally prohibited unfair labor practices.
A refusal to bargain in good faith, which is exactly what we heard here, is a common and illegal unfair labor practice.
The union representing the musicians has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the board with the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming the board has refused to bargain in good faith. The charge is unrelated to this particular circumstance.
The first thing people like Lamb want you to think is that the “union” and the “musicians” are separate groups.
They are not.
But Lamb knows the ropes here and, like every other greed-driven battle against people who work for a living, tries to imprint on the public mind the fallacy that the union is a third party in the discussions.
Here’s the deal: The union is comprised entirely of musicians. It was formed by musicians for the purpose of representing musicians. The negotiators are musicians. That means the union IS the musicians. It’s not a separate group of people.
Lamb – who hangs out in local upscale dining establishments – sees no irony in eating lavish meals at tables draped with crisp white linen and other finery while doing his part to starve the musicians of the locked-out orchestra. He also feels no shame in cashing in political favors to have his wife appointed to select boards or commissions.
What was that about sacrifice, Bill?
Bill Lamb has a right to his opinion. No one disputes that. But this isn’t an opinion, it’s an agenda. It’s not like he’s going to let the musicians come on WDRB and give a rebuttal.
There is something Lamb can do to correct his mistake of going on television to frame a phony debate in his fight against the musicians.
Lamb should resign from the Louisville Orchestra’s board of directors.
I’m Brian Tucker, and that’s my point of view.