Why the Guild matters

By George Kraw/Guild Freelancers

Five years before the Newspaper Guild was founded in 1933, Chicago reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur wrote “The Front Page,” a play inspired by their misadventures with Hearst newspapers. Hearst executive Walter Howey was the model for the comedy’s scheming, ruthless newspaper editor, Walter Burns, who engages in acts of corruption while terrorizing his employees.

“The Front Page’s” portrayal of dreary working circumstances populated by abused and vulnerable media workers on the cusp of the Great Depression was not an exaggeration. Traditionally, independent editorial workers were paid less than unionized typesetters; they worked without job protection, and they received minimal benefits.

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Mendez 6

Guild art show and panel on Méndez a hit

More than 40 people showed up at the Mexican Museum in Fort Mason on Tuesday night to learn about the Leopoldo Méndez prints discovered and restored by the Guild.

Oakland city council members. Front row from left: Noel Gallo, Dan Kalb, Libby Schaaf, Rebecca Kaplan
Back row from left: Patricia Kernighan, Larry Reid, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Desley Brooks
Photo courtesy City of Oakland 2014

City transparency measure goes to Oakland voters

July 16, 2014

Thanks partly to the Pacific Media Workers Guild’s efforts, a city charter amendment aimed at improving transparency in local government and politics will go before Oakland voters in November. The amendment to give Oakland’s Public Ethics Commission broader authority, more staffing and greater independence and strengthen whistleblower protections has the support of the PMWG, other […]

This linocut by Leopoldo Méndez was produced in 1950 and restored in 2014 by Karen Zukor. It will be displayed at the Mexican Museum as part of Laborfest on July 8.

Guild recovers artwork’s distinguished heritage

June 5, 2014

For three decades, a set of black-and-white linocuts hung on the exposed brick walls of the Guild office, rarely eliciting more than passing interest. Each bore the signature of Leopoldo Méndez.

Jim Drindell, union member and beloved friend, worked as a composer for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, as depicted in this photo ID. Photo courtesy Stephanie Hedgecoke 2014.

Tribute to Jim Drindell, BATU member

June 30, 2014

Jim Drindell, longtime member of the Bay Area Typographical Union Local 21 and later our merged union, died on June 10. His dear friend Stephanie Hedgecoke wrote this tribute.

ASLIU logo

Labor board agrees with union on health care changes

June 30, 2014

ASLIU employees who struck Purple Communications for one day over alleged improper changes to the health-care plan were in the right according to the National Labor Relations Board.

Ken Prairie, Harry Sitonen, and Charlie Tobias join in a rally in downtown Oakland for workers from the Hayward Urbanite plant when they were negotiating a contract. Photo courtesy Gloria LaRiva.

Ken Prairie, longtime Typo rep, dead at 86

June 11, 2014

Ken Prairie (left), a veteran California-based CWA staff representative who helped newspaper printers through strikes, mergers and technology upheavals, died at his home on Sunday. He was 86.

Bay News Rising and Cynthia Gorney 2014

Bay News Rising student bulletin #1

May 31, 2014

On May 27, ten eager Bay News Rising journalism students met with the Guild to negotiate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. The 9-week long summer program gives students the opportunity to experience freelance writing and to focus on labor reporting.

Guild Scholarship – Apply now!

Brendan Carroll received a Guild scholarship last summer.

Apply for a Guild Scholarship. New deadline is June 30, 2014. Click on photo for details and app.

Honor Chavez


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