Just moments ago I accepted the decision I made over a week ago: To accept the results of the Guild election without challenge, just as every other candidate has done before, going back 86 years in every Guild election. Now there is one exception – my opponent.
The Guild election process was devised by leaders who believed in rank-and-file democracy and believed that the election process could be entrusted to Guild members and local leaders. Did they believe that the system was perfect? Doubtful. But they knew it was better than relying on outside attorneys and consultants, and most certainly better than turning to a government agency that is likely to be antagonistic toward unions.
The Guild culture works on consensus and trust and a belief that those involved are, in fact, union movement members and activists.
That’s why we must now honor that tradition and get on with the work of the Guild. We are in the middle of historic organizing that has led to an unprecedented number of first contracts. But over a third of the new groups continue to work towards their first agreements, and we need to focus on that. We must continue to build on the organizing and bargaining that strengthens the Guild.
We are also facing an historical crisis in our industry, and an unprecedented assault on journalism and truth from the President of the United States. We must continue to work with our allies in the crucial struggle to defend journalism. We must be part of a large group that seeks business models that create sustainable, local journalism.
I call on those who care about the Guild to join me in getting our work done. We had a long election and it was hard fought. Whatever limitations existed were experienced by both candidates. Most locals worked diligently on providing TNG correct membership information and turning out the vote.
I have listened to my supporters. Two-thirds of the locals participating in this election chose me to continue to represent them as president of our union. Let’s quit the politics and get on with the work.
In solidarity, Bernie Lunzer, President, The NewsGuild-CWA