I see my role as chief steward of The NewsGuild-CWA. My job is to preserve and strengthen the Guild. That means securing necessary resources for organizing and bargaining. It also means making sure the Guild builds alliances and plays a role in preserving our industry and our union – movement building.
As the overall union makes decisions about resources we are adding capacity in communications, organizing and bargaining. Importantly we’ll continue to use our most potent tool in all of these areas – our membership. Our union is a movement, not a few people and not some building or staff . I’m proud of the Guild’s bottom-up democracy. We have preserved it and fought for it. No other piece of a national union does it as well as we do.
Members have high expectations of transparency and honesty in our affairs. I have met that test and it is a major reason that I’ve been able to keep the trust and support I have. When I quote my father with “honesty is my only policy,” that’s not a cliché – it’s my life’s mantra.
I’ve been fortunate to do this work at all the levels I have. I worked hard to earn each one – going from steward to unit chair, to local rep then local administrative officer.
I ran for national office and found that when I was straight with people they liked it. It’s what they have come to expect in the Guild. There is no other approach in this union, and there shouldn’t be.
I’m running for re-election as President and I want your support. I will stoke generational change the moment I am re-elected. I commit to a process that includes all members talking about what they expect in their leaders and who those leaders might be. Right now I see multiple candidates for the top three elected officers in the Guild. These are folks who have fought in the trenches. They have brought difficult grievances to arbitration while keeping their members on side. They have pushed to break wage freezes that have been crushing to their members. They have beat back anti-union lawyers at the bargaining table, and they fight slumlord, hedge-fund ownership. They have fought despair and created hope.
A discussion on the future of the Guild and its leadership is important. In part we’re having that in this election, but part of this election is just old-fashioned attack politics.
In the end politics will decide – that’s what a democracy is. But an informed discussion about what the Guild is and what its leaders need to know – that is critical and will happen if I’m re-elected.
But make no mistake about it. I have work left to do and I do believe that my team, Lunzer-Needham-Waggoner, can do it in a way that no one else can right now.
The internal politics of our parent union demand that we establish that our rag-tag sector has its permanent place, and works with other media workers in CWA. We need our identity as a journalists’ union at a time we’re fighting for the very future of journalism. And we’ll fight for all our other workers – many are not journalists. I think I know the real pressures inside the union and have the ability to work with you to chart a path for our big union, CWA, that includes all sorts of workers – some in geographic districts and some in worker sectors. Change is coming. We can lead it and define our own future.
I ask for you support in building the Guild, vote Bernie Lunzer.