The United Media Guild named Springfield unit chair Dean Olsen its Guilder of the Year at its Local meeting Thursday evening.
Olsen led the organizing effort at the State Journal-Register that led to an overwhelming 26-4 vote to union. Then he led the internal and external mobilization campaigns to build support inside and outside the newsroom.
He also serves on the bargaining committee working to gain a first contract at the GateHouse newspaper. His relentless effort has been an inspiration to all the UMG’s leaders and staff.
Also at the Local meeting:
State Journal-Register employees collectively earned the UMG’s Solidarity Award for sticking together in this fight. They are mounting an excellent pro-SJ-R campaign in Springfield.
Rockford unit chair Melissa Westphal earned Activist of the Year for her assistance in organizing the Register Star and Freeport Journal-Standard newspapers. Like Olsen, she is serving on the bargaining committee seeking a first contract at the newspapers. She has become a tireless advocate for journalists at those newspapers.
Lisa Johnston earned Steward of the Year for her work on behalf of co-workers at the St. Louis Review. With that newspaper morphing into a multi-platform operation, she has worked to protect Guild jurisdiction over that content.