This is a message from Jon Schleuss, president of The NewsGuild:
As the president of our union, I’m responsible for improving our culture and eliminating barriers that make it difficult for survivors of harassment to come forward. I do not equivocate when I say as a member-led democratic union we have zero tolerance for harassment in any form and that must be woven into the fabric of all that we do.
But it’s clear that — even with a steadfast commitment to create and maintain a safe workplace — our policies and our own culture must improve.
Harassment is a problem in all areas of society, including unions, but we rightfully hold ourselves to a higher standard. Harassment undermines solidarity, weakens our movement and strengthens the boss. Protecting survivors and having zero tolerance for harassment is critical to building union power.
Our policy against discrimination (which includes harassment) is enshrined in our parent union’s constitution and it’s on us as members to follow our own rules and to be compassionate, fair and transparent. If you experience harassment or witness it, immediately reach out to a local officer, Guild staffer or me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaders in our union have a duty to create a culture where every member can report harassment of any kind.
As a union with many journalists, we have an ethical duty to minimize harm and treat every person as deserving of respect. For union members, activists and leaders, that means creating a supportive environment and being transparent about policies for internally reporting harassment whether from a boss or a colleague.
I wrote to our members in Pittsburgh about the timeline of events that led up to the resignation of their former president, Michael Fuoco. I encourage you to read it. I also encourage everyone to continue having conversations with your colleagues and leaders at all levels about improving our policies and our culture.
We’ll also be having a town hall to talk about how we create a better support system at 5 p.m. ET this Friday. NewsGuild members can register for that here.
We have a duty to do better. An injury to one is an injury to all.