Long-time United Media Guild activist Barry Gilbert recently made this plea to his former Post-Dispatch colleagues via our UMG Facebook group:
“I woke up this morning worrying about the Guild. Our ranks have been decimated, and of course so has our leadership. Contract negotiations are not that far off; closer still — like next month, IIRC — will be a fight over revenue sharing. Lee will cry poverty (and still give bonuses and raises to execs). Our job — YOUR job — will be to demand and obtain proof of Lee’s ability or inability to pay. I know morale is in the toilet; I know everybody is beaten down. But just imagine what working at the P-D under Lee would be without the Guild. Just ask around Lee’s properties to find out. We need new leadership. Members whose journalism skills make them newsroom leaders need to step up, run for Executive Board, become stewards and get involved. If you haven’t been active, get active; if you’ve contributed in the past, contribute more.”
Well stated Barry. We would love to gain new activists from all of our units. We face huge challenges as Lee, GateHouse, Gannett and our other employers struggle in this difficult economy.
Guild membership gives you an opportunity to fight for the craft of journalism and the quality of your jobs. Employees in non-union workplaces do not have that opportunity.
Collective action can make a positive difference even in these highly negative times. The UMG can cite countless examples during the past few years.
Your voice can be heard at the very top of these corporations. During the weeks ahead, we will have more information about UMG elections and other opportunities to become more active.