Friday, July 27, 2007

Activism strengthens employee rights and securities

As a more than 20-year member of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, I know that the Guild is perhaps the single-most important thread keeping the seams of job security together for employees at many news organizations, including the Washington Post. It is because of the continued commitment of the Guild that Post employees have not suffered the large-scale layoffs and upheaval of some other news organizations and have successfully defended their rights – some very publicly – during a time when the paper has systemically downsized while piling on additional duties, with little or no additional pay. On several occasions, direct involvement by the Guild made the difference between employees maintaining or losing their jobs and benefits. I know that the working environment at the paper would be even more vexing and inhibiting without the security and backing of the Guild. It is imperative that everyone play an active, vigilant part in the Guild to ensure employee rights and securities remain strong.

Stephen A. King
former WP shop steward

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