What We Believe

We’ve heard from our new owner and have a better understanding of his values and beliefs. Here are some of ours.

We believe in a democratic workplace. We think that if you spend most of your life at work, you should have influence over the decisions that will affect you.

The best way to achieve that is to elect leaders who will keep you informed, listen to your concerns and represent you in talks with the company.

As in any democracy, we don’t expect everyone to agree with every decision, but all of us should get the chance to know what’s going on and say what we think.

We believe that workers deserve to be treated fairly. Pay, benefits, job security and discipline should not be lxeft entirely to management discretion where they can become tools for favoritism and intimidation. If members are in danger of losing their jobs, they should have due process and someone in their corner to make sure that their rights have been respected.

We believe in each other. We know that we are strongest when we stick together. That’s why companies would always rather deal with us as individuals than as a group. We believe that when we support each other, all of us are better off.

Some of you have wondered about what kind of relationship the Guild will have with the new company. It is too soon to say.

We are a union, but we have no contract. We hope to begin negotiations later this month and will let you know how they move forward.

Even without a contract, we have rights as union members including the right to speak up without the threat of retaliation. But if we don’t assert those rights it will be as if they don’t exist. We will not give up your rights and we will use all the tools we have under the law to make sure that they are honored.

That doesn’t mean that we have to be in conflict with the new owner. We share a strong common interest with him in the company’s success and we don’t gain anything by “winning” victories that lead to the failure of the enterprise.

On Thursday, the employees of the online-only publisher Gawker Media voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East, even though Gawker has an enlightened owner who is generously sharing the company’s considerable wealth. Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA (who was not part of the Gawker drive) had these thoughts on why workers in a company like that might want a union.

“What is most important is that people understand that having a union is not about having bad management, or attacking management. It’s a conscious choice that you want to have a real say in what happens in your workplace. Our members are almost always more loyal and proud of their mastheads (digital and print) than the owners are.” We agree.

We are problem solvers, not troublemakers. Some of us are working for our fifth owner. A strong union has never been this company’s enemy. In fact, if not for the hard work and sacrifice of Guild members, the company probably would have folded by now.

We want to work with this owner to make the company more successful and return it to profitability. We ask only that he recognize our rights and respect that we speak with one voice.

In Solidarity,
Your Executive Board

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