I’m writing, as a concerned supporter of the Pacific Media Workers Guild Unity Slate, to seek your vote in the election for Representative Assembly member from our unit. [See www.carlhallforunity.org for more on the Unity Campaign.]
Almost alone in the nation, our Guild local has welcomed and supported a diverse membership of more than 100 Bay Area writers not covered by collective bargaining agreements. Under the leadership of Unity Slate candidates Carl Hall and Rebecca Rosen Lum, freelancers have gotten expanded access to benefit plans and invaluable help with individual grievances against non-paying publishers.
It is very doubtful that those running against Carl for executive officer and Rebecca for president will continue to provide such representation–or fund the workshops and training sessions that have helped freelance members hone their skills and make new editorial contacts. If freelancers don’t actively participate in this year’s local-wide election, we may not have much of a future in our 2,000-member local.
While I’m new to California and the PMWG, I’ve been a Newspaper Guild member before and involved in the labor movement since 1972. For three decades, I was a Boston-based national union representative and organizer for the Communications Workers of America.
In that capacity, I helped facilitate the original Guild and Typographical union mergers with CWA in the northeast and became very familiar with the challenges facing working journalists everywhere. I began free-lancing myself when I was 16. Since retiring from the CWA staff six years ago, I’ve been doing full-time labor journalism work, including three-labor related books published by Monthly Review Press or Haymarket Books.
For more biographical information, see: http://steveearly.org/
Please contact me at this email address or at 510-260-0636 in Richmond if you’d like to discuss any issues related to the Guild election or the contested RA position in our unit. When you get your mail ballot next week, please mark it for the Unity Slate and mail it back right away.
Thanks for your consideration of this election appeal. I look forward to working with you, when we have a new Unity Slate administration with proven union-builders from our own unit like Carl, Rebecca, Gloria La Riva, Steve Stallone, Michelle Caplette, Bill Snyder, Rick Knee and others similarly committed to freelancer issues.
Author of Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress (Monthly Review Press, 2013),