Welcome to the National Writers Union

The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.

Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.

Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers.  Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power.

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Special Announcements

06/11/2013 - 5:31pm

Any Member May Draft Resolutions for Upcoming DA

The National Writers Union Delegate Assembly (DA) will assemble over the second weekend in August to set the union's agenda for the next two years. Delegates have been elected from every chapter. Members who will not be in Chicago for the biennial event can play a role by proposing resolutions.

The DA, the governing body of the NWU, considers resolutions suggesting policy direction for the union as well as amendments to our by-laws.

The call for resolutions, rules for resolutions, the current NWU by-laws and a list of all delegates elected to date along with their chapters and/or union positions and email addresses has been posted in the Members Only section of this web site at a tab called 2013 Delegate Assembly.

Members can access this information by logging in and clicking on the “2013 Delegate Assembly” link in the “Members Only” menu on the left side of the home page.

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05/16/2013 - 4:51pm

NWU Attends Copyright Hearing, Asks for Writers to Be Heard

“I’d like to enter into the record this letter I have from the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, noting there are no authors or other artistic creators on today’s panel.” That’s how Congressman Johnson (D-GA) began his questioning at the hearing I attended on May 16 of the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. This was the first of many hearings that will eventually produce the first reform of U.S. Copyright law since 1976.

The letter Congressman Johnson was referring to, introduced NWU to the committee as “among the most active contributors to Copyright Office consultations,” including “orphan works” and the need for a copyright small claims court. It urged the committee to hold future hearings “at which the full range of creative workers can testify about the ways that copyright law could be improved,” especially NWU. A statement from the Copyright Alliance, which includes creators and industry groups, was also entered into the record by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA). Links to both are below:

http://nwu.org/sites/nwu.prometheuslabor.com/files/may-14-2013-hearing.pdf

http://www.copyrightalliance.org/2013/05/statement_copyright_alliance_executive_director_sandra_aistars_re_todays_judiciary_0 target="_blank"

The day before the hearing, D.C. member Monica Coleman and I attended a reception co-sponsored by the Copyright Alliance (CA), made up of both creators and industry groups, and the Creative Rights Caucus (CRC), which has 40 Congresspeople as members.  We met CRC Co-Chair Chu (D-CA) and her staff and a number of CA lobbyists. Everyone welcomed NWU’s involvement.

At the hearing, we were joined by Michael Capobianco of Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America, and the hearing room was packed. The only witnesses called were a five-member panel from the Copyright Principals Project (CPP), an invitation-only group of academics, lawyers and a representative from Microsoft. No creators were either invited to the CPP or to testify at the hearing, but many were there to voice our concerns and to try to ensure that the next hearing has a panel of creators. I was there on behalf of the union to try to ensure that NWU is included. 

In the week we had to prepare for the hearing, an ad hoc committee developed that included Edward Hasbrouck (SF), Susan E. Davis (NY), Mike Bradley (SF), Ann Hoffman (DC), Monica, and me. I also met with Bev Brakeman, the UAW Region 9A CAP Director, and Josh Nassar, the UAW Legislative Director in D.C., to begin our first serious lobbying effort in quite some time. We managed to maximize our presence, work on a few different levels, and keep talking through our disagreements. Not as easy as it sounds.

Moving forward, we are putting together a working group that in the short run can produce a preliminary report: “What We Want and Don’t Want in New Copyright Law.” It will require discussion on many aspects of the new law, especially “orphan works” and a federal small claims court. But it will also review prosecution of copyright infringers, reversion of rights, extended collective licensing (ECL), exceptions for the blind, and more. Something like this can be used to help educate members, recruit more writers, and be circulated to the subcommittee so our friends know NWU’s wishlist for the new law.

If you’re interested in being a part of this, contact nwu@nwu.org.

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05/14/2013 - 2:45pm

Guild demands Justice Dept. return telephone records taken of AP reporters' phone calls

The Newspaper Guild-CWA and its local that represents AP staffers, The News Media Guild, demands that the U.S. Justice Department return all telephone records that it obtained from phones -- including some home and cell phones – of Associated Press reporters and editors.

The collection of these records is egregious and a direct attack on journalists, and the Justice Department needs to cease and desist such investigations. The ability of journalists to develop and protect sources is vital to keeping the public informed about issues affecting their lives.

There could be no justification or explanation for this broad, over-reaching investigation. It appears officials are twisting legislation designed to protect public safety as a means to muzzle those concerned with the public's right to know.

The suggestion that the news story 'scooped' an announcement for partisan political purposes only exacerbates the damage such actions can have on a free press. This investigation has a chilling effect on press freedom in the United States – a right enshrined in the Constitution. Please contact your representatives and the White House to tell them to stop this outrageous, abusive investigation now.


For immediate release: Contact, Bernie Lunzer, TNG-CWA President, 202-258-3231, bernielunzer@gmail.com

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05/02/2013 - 1:40pm

World Press Freedom Day is May 3, 2013

This year the International Federation of Journalists is marking World Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of “Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned around the World”. This reflects the on-going concern over the numbers of our colleagues who continue to languish in prisons in many countries as a result of their profession.

For more information click here.

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05/02/2013 - 1:24pm

KENYA CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR ENHANCED SECURITY FOR JOURNALISTS AND RESPECT OF LABOUR RIGHTS

Press Statement;   For Immediate Release

Nairobi, Kenya: May 2, 2013

Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) wishes to join the media fraternity in Kenya, the Eastern African Region and globally in marking the 2013 World Press Freedom Day being marked on May 3.

KCA notes with concern that the Kenyan media environment has over the last one year recorded increasing cases of threats to the safety and security of journalists and general disregard for their labour rights.

At least 25 journalists have reported various forms of threats to their security and safety in different parts of the country over the last six months. Some of these threats have been reported in the media and statements recorded with the police but a number of threats have remained less pronounced but serious enough to undermine the freedom of journalists in the performance of their duties.

The threats have been recorded from security agencies, state officials, political leaders and their supporters, drug traffickers and other actors, in the process creating a climate of fear and intimidation among journalists in the course of their work.

Entire press release here.(Word document)

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04/29/2013 - 1:25pm

As we've noted previously, many countries have been considering, and some have adopted, "orphan works" laws that allow anyone who claims they can't find who holds the rights to a work to use it without permission. 

Canada has had such a law, but it is very limited. Now countries throughout the European Union are considering much broader laws. 

The first of those laws to go into effect, and the worst yet, is in France. Like some of the laws proposed in other countries, it extends beyond so-called "orphan works" to authorize Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) for scanning and digital distribution of any book that has been distributed in France and that is now deemed "out of print, without even the pretense of a search for the holders of electronic rights. 

You can opt out of having your work licensed through this scheme, but only after a book containing your work has been identified by the operators of the scheme, "ReLIRE", as out of print in France. 

You may be affected even without knowing it. The NWU's Grievance and Contract Division has long recommended that authors get language included in contracts that gives you the right of approval, or at least a right to notice, for licensing of translations, foreign editions, or other subsidiary rights. But many current contracts may lack such language, and publishers don't always comply with contracts.  

So a publisher of a book by you, or an anthology or collection including a story, article, poem, etc. you have written, might have authorized an edition in France, or designated a US or other edition as simultaneously published in France among many other countries around the world. 

The first list of works identified as "out of print" in France, and due to be digitized unless the rightsholders opt out, was made available last month. Browsers immediately discovered that it included works by many prominent, easily-found US writers including NWU member Ursula K. Le Guin.

No attempt had been made to find these or any other writers. You are  expected to figure out for yourself that your work might be included, search the database to find your work, and fill out the forms (in French), to opt out. Or your work is fair game to be digitized and made available without your permission from France to readers worldwide. 

It's complicated because the database and all the instructions and forms are in French only. A simple author search won't turn up stories, articles, or poems included in anthologies or collective works. Works are identified, of course, by their French titles, which may not be literal translations of their English titles.  There are many spelling and transcription errors, and only exact matches are shown in search results. 

We are extremely grateful to Gill Spraggs of Action on Authors Rights (UK), one of our allies in the successful fight against the proposed Google Books Settlement, for preparing a guide in English to how to find if your work is included in the French "ReLIRE" database, and to opt out.

This includes links to translations of the French forms and instructions, as well as to useful resources by French author Lea Silhol and others. 

(Since your first reaction may be, "But that would be highway robbery," we can't resist the temptation to note that Gill Spraggs, in addition to her talents as a poet, translator, editor, and activist, is actually one of the world's leading scholarly authorities on -- quite literally -- highway robbery, which was the subject of her Ph.D dissertation at Cambridge and her popular cultural and literary history, "Outlaws and Highwaymen".)

The NWU and other US writers' organizations including the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (many of whose members' work has turned up in translations and anthologies in the ReLIRE database) are working on collective responses. This law and others like it are clear violations of other countries' obligations to US writers pursuant to the Berne Convention and other copyright treaties, and we will be asking the US government to make appropriate diplomatic protests on our behalf. 

But we can't search for all our members' work. 

So the first step -- both for your own self-protection and to lay the basis for collective action -- is for you and any other writers you know to check whether any of your work has been included among works slated for digitization in France. This is highly likely if any of your work has ever been issued in France or in French translation, including as part of any collective work and as may have happened without your knowledge. 

Please let the NWU know if you find any of your work included in the French "ReLIRE" database.

NWU members can post what you find to the NWU Book Division e-mail discussion list, which will help other NWU members know what sort of work you found in the French database, and how you found it. Or, if you prefer to keep your grievance confidential, you can contact either of the NWU Book Division Co-Chairs, Susan E. Davis or Edward Hasbrouck.
  

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04/23/2013 - 8:28pm

Campaign Against Unfair Journalist Contracts

To mark World Copyright Day on Tuesday 23 April, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), are launching a campaign to fight against unfair contracts.

"Fair contracts are the guarantee for high quality and ethical journalism," says IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "However, the spread of buy-out contracts strongly impacts on the quality of journalism as well as the livelihood of journalists."

Rights-grabbing contracts, or "buy-out contracts", demand that journalists sign all moral and economic rights over to publishers. These include the right to protect the integrity of their work, be identified as the author and to receive equitable remuneration when work is re-used. Buy-out contracts assign media employers a worldwide, exclusive right to use, reproduce, display, modify and distribute their work on all types of platforms, known or future. They also allow media employers to transfer the work to third parties without additional payment to the journalist. The EFJ has been collecting information about unfair contractual terms and conditions and found that major newspapers, magazines and broadcasters across Europe widely use these unfair contracts.

"We were appalled by the extent of unfair contractual practices in the media industry," said Arne König, EFJ President. "Media organisations asked journalists, particularly freelancers, to assign their exclusive rights for multiple use of their works for small one-off payments."

Read more here.

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04/12/2013 - 6:49pm

In response to a request by the U.S. Copyright Office for follow-ups to the previous written comments and in-person hearings in which the NWUparticipated, the NWU has submitted reply comments on the possibility of a "Copyright Small Claims Court".

The NWU reply comments respond to specific questions asked by the Copyright Office about issues raised by the NWU, particularly the need to make sure that any new small claims court or small claims procedures are accessible to writers outside the US, who are entitled by the Berne Convention copyright treaty to equal protection of their copyrights without "formalities" such as being required to register their copyrights.

The NWU's reply comments on remedies for copyright claims thus anticipate some of the issues raised by calls from opponents of copyright to make copyright registration more difficult and expensive, or to impose new "formalities," so that only the most valuable works will be protected and less valuable works will be "abandoned" to the public domain.

Read the NWU comments here.

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04/09/2013 - 3:23pm

Mississippi Longing: Auto Workers Demand a Voice (by Marc Bussanich, in Labor Press)

"New York, NY—On the last weekend of the New York Auto Show two autoworkers from Canton, Mississippi who work for Nissan spoke to passerby about their multi-year struggle to join the United Auto Workers. Lee Ruffin and Christopher Milton have been working at the plant when it opened in 2003. They both want a voice on the job because the company is demanding the workers do more work without increasing their pay. (Watch Video)

"Ruffin and Milton said Nissan initially paid decent wages and benefits, but after five years the company slashed contributions to the workers’ pensions and shifted higher health care costs onto them.

"After the company took those actions, Ruffin, Milton and plant workers began to meet to build a campaign to win union recognition. As expected, Nissan reacted by waging an all-out anti-union campaign, although Nissan employs unionized workforces in Japan and Brazil.

“Nissan has been intimidating us by showing anti-union videos and threatening to close the plant. But we want to have a fair election without feeling intimtidated,” said Ruffin.

"Ruffin works in final assembly and Milton works in the stamping, tool and dye department. They make numerous models, including the Ultima, Frontier, Xtera, Titan and Armada. While the company has threatened to close the plant, Milton believes it’s all hot air.

“I don’t think there’s no other place they can really go. We’ll be making eight different models soon and in three years we’re supposed to supply 85 percent of all Nissan cars in the North American market. They would lose money if they tried to move. I’m not concerned about the plant closing,” said Milton.

"Just as AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka told LaborPress recently, both Ruffin and Milton believe they’ll prevail in joining a union. Although some of the plant workers are fearful of retaliation and scared by threats of the plant closing, Milton seemed optimistic.

“I’m hoping. Progress looks really good. We’re getting lots of support from students, [the actor] Danny Glover, the clergy and elected officials,” he said."

Watch video

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04/09/2013 - 2:58pm

For Immediate Release:  Contact: Larry Goldbetter: 212-254-0279  or  Katti  Gray 917-757-4397

Freelance Writers Organize, Fight Back and Win $125,000 Settlement

New York City, April 2, 2013 –The National Writers Union (NWU) and representatives of Heart and Soul magazine have signed an agreement that will see a dozen freelance writers and editors collect over $125,000 in unpaid fees. Heart and Soul has already made two required payments under this agreement.

NWU President Larry Goldbetter said, “This settlement goes far beyond a national magazine making the long overdue payment to our members for work they performed. It sends a signal to the growing number of freelance writers and the publishers that profit from our work, that—in this new economy of independent workers—we can effectively organize into unions. We can fight to protect our interests.”

The NWU first got involved with Heart and Soul in October 2011, after three union members rallied their colleagues to file a group grievance for articles that had been published but for which they had not been paid. The initial group grievance was settled relatively quickly. Then, a group of 12 more stepped forward. Heart and Soul is a health and wellness magazine whose target audience is women of color; all of the NWU members listed in both grievances are black women. The NWU worked diligently and cooperatively with Heart & Soul's new management team to reach a final settlement amount and pay schedule. While NWU and Heart & Soul’s new management team worked on a settlement for the group of 12, NWU won a $360,000 judgment in a New York federal court for 30 freelance writers, translators, editors and graphic artists who had worked for Inkwell Publishing, a textbook “development house.” NWU also won more than $25,000 for a dozen freelancers at Natural Solutions magazine, based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. All together, our Grievance and Contract Division has won more than $1.5 million for NWU members, a critical victory as the pace of writers not being properly paid seems to be picking up.

“The aggrieved, unpaid women at Heart and Soul, backed by the union’s organizing and legal help, have set an example for all freelance writers. I know, firsthand, of folks who aren’t getting paid and who are saying absolutely nothing about it.  We’ve got to demand that publishers pay for what we’ve delivered. There’s power in that,” said Katti Gray, a New York-based freelancer and one of the three NWU members who helped organize the Heart and Soul contractors.

 The National Writers Union (United Auto Workers Local 1981, AFL-CIO) is a national labor union and advocacy organization for freelance and contract writers in all genres, media, and formats. The NWU works to defend the rights and improve the economic and working conditions of all writers. The NWU's members include journalists, book authors, business and technical writers, web site, print and email newsletter content providers, bloggers, academic writers, editors, poets, playwrights, screen writers and other writers.

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Download press release Word.doc here.

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Union News

11/12/2010 - 1:23am

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION

November 23, 2010

To Mark One Year Since Massacre In Philippines

Dear friends and colleagues,

We write to you on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) to alert you to activities around the world to commemorate the world’s single biggest atrocity against journalists - the brutal murder of 32 journalists and media workers in a massacre of at least 58 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, in the southern Philippines on November 23, 2009.

At the request of colleagues attending the IFJ Asia-Pacific regional meeting in September 2010, the IFJ Asia-Pacific office is working with our friends in the Philippines to prepare a Global Day of Action on November 23, 2010, to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre.

11/12/2010 - 1:22am

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today backed a strike by journalists at the Croatian daily newspaper Voice of Istria in a crucial battle over workers’ rights and independent journalism in the country.

The IFJ affiliate the Croatian Journalists’ Union, which organises 117 workers at the Glas Istre Novine company, has called a strike tomorrow after nine months of turmoil at the paper which has seen a company buy-out, plans for massive wage cuts, job losses and internal interference in the work of journalists.

“This strike is a result of management ‘slash and burn’ tactics and a refusal to negotiate with the union,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “The workforce refuses to see their rights wiped away by a company that has lost all sense of decency in its treatment of staff.”

11/12/2010 - 1:17am

The European Federation of Journalists today called on journalists across Europe to support journalists at the BBC who have launched a strike campaign to defend pension rights. At the weekend journalists staged a successful 48-hour stoppage across the network, forcing a number of flagship programmes off the air. Now fresh actions are planned as the network seeks to impose a "pay-more, get-less" retirement plan on thousands of its staff.

"The BBC journalists are showing the way to tackle head-on the media agenda of cuts and down-grading of staff rights," said Aidan White, EFJ General Secretary. "It's a strike campaign that will resonate in all European media houses where journalists and media staff are being targeted to shoulder the burden of the financial crisis."

The EFJ says that European journalists are facing savage budget cuts, declining social rights and a lack of social dialogue not just in the broadcasting sector, but across the whole of the media landscape.

10/18/2010 - 5:03pm

The NWU National Executive Board voted to oppose an Arizona law, House Bill 2281, which threatens ethnic studies classes in the state. The vote took place at the September 25-26 meeting in New York City.

Outgoing Arizona Schools Superintendent Tom Horne drafted the measure after launching vicious public attacks on the ethnic studies program, particularly Mexican-American Studies class of the Tucson Unified School District. Horne, a Republican, is running for Arizona Attorney General...

10/04/2010 - 4:45pm

With the folding of daily newspapers and an overwhelming number of other commercial print publications, the bulk of paid published writing has shifted to the Internet. In the world of Internet publishing, we have seen the rise of Content Farms claiming to offer desirable writing assignments. These companies, owned by AOL, Yahoo and Demand Media among others, pay writers very little—such as $50 dollars for ten or more 500 word articles, pay by amount of web site page clicks—and other nonspecific methods with no guaranteed amount or very low payment. Demand Media, which has contracts with the San Francisco Chronicle, the National Football League, The Houston Chronicle and more, boasts of having 10,000 freelance writers that they pay a penny-a-word!

10/04/2010 - 4:09pm

Despite long hours of travel to get to Washington, UAW members showed up in the thousands to support the march's goals. Photo by Susan Kramer.Despite long hours of travel to get to Washington, UAW members showed up in the thousands to support the march's goals. Photo by Susan Kramer.


“The voices of division will try to divide us by race, gender, age and other ways. Those rallying here today are leading us on a path of community, of compassion and common humanity.” That’s what UAW President Bob King told almost 200,000 marchers from more than 300 unions and progressive organizations at the “One Nation Working Together” rally.


10/04/2010 - 4:03pm

On September 24, the FBI raided the homes of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis, removing computers, cell phones, boxes of papers, posters, children’s art and more. They claim they were investigating “material support for terrorism.” More than a dozen federal warrants were served in four states calling people to testify at a Grand Jury this week. On September 27, NWU President Larry Goldbetter issued the following statement which was read by NWU members at a rally protesting the raids in front of FBI headquarters in Chicago. He and other NWU members joined a similar rally in NY on September 28.

 

10/01/2010 - 11:46am

In its press release, the European Federation of Journalists demands that journalists currently in jail in Turkey must be set free immediately if the movement towards key changes in the country’s constitution is to deliver promises of democracy and freedom.

The EFJ has joined its affiliate, the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), in a call for the immediate and unconditional release of more than 40 journalists jailed in Turkey who they say are in prison for nothing more than doing their job.

09/12/2010 - 3:49pm

Crain’s new york business.com reported that freelance workers in NY state are owed more than $4.7 billion in lost wages. The article (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100829/SMALLBIZ/308299994) sited a study by a Rutgers University economist that “shows that 42% of nearly 900,000 independent workers in New York State reported having trouble collecting payment for their labors last year.”

08/23/2010 - 8:18pm

Lee Lockwood (1932-2010), a photojournalist who made his name with influential 1960s articles about Fidel Castro and an American prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was a member of the National Writers Union from 1989 until he retired in 2006. He died on July 31 of complications from diabetes.

Lee Lockwood (1932-2010), a photojournalist who made his name with influential 1960s articles about Fidel Castro and an American prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was a member of the National Writers Union from 1989 until he retired in 2006. He died on July 31 of complications from diabetes.

According to an obituary in the August 7 New York Times, Lockwood viewed his work as a photojournalist as an instrument of social change. A freelancer, he was associated for many years with the Black Star Agency, which sent his work to newspapers and magazines around the world.

Lockwood also wrote books. His most famous, Castro’s Cuba, Cuba’s Castro: An American Journalist’s Inside Look at Today’s Cuba in Text and Pictures (Macmillian, 1967), was based on a week-long, smoke-filled interview for Playboy in 1965. The book covered a wide range of topics, from Marxism, the Cuban missile crisis, and American race relations to sex and prostitution. Lockwood explained in the introduction why he wrote the book: “We don’t like Castro, so we close our eyes and hold our ears, Yet if he is really our enemy, as dangerous to us as we are told he is, then we ought to know as much about him as possible.”

While in Cuba, Lockwood obtained a visa to North Vietnam, the scene of another famous article. That made him the first outside photographer allowed there in more than a decade. Lockwood’s 28-day visit was chronicled in a long, heavily illustrated cover article for the April 7, 1967, issue of Life magazine. As the Times notes, “In words and pictures, Mr. Lockwood portrayed the life of a country then under heavy bombardment by United States forces: bare, ruined villages; deserted factories; a boy with a missing leg, lost to a bomb,” as well as scenes of everyday life.

 

One of Lockwood’s subjects was American Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Richard A. Stratton, who had been shot down and captured in January 1967. Clad in striped prison pajamas, Stratton read a “confession” denouncing U.S. bombing over a loudspeaker and then bowed on orders from a prison official. Lockwood’s photo of Stratton bowing, given a full page in Life, was reproduced around the world. Coupled with Lockwood’s description of Stratton – “His eyes were empty.… His expression never changed.” – the State Department soon after charged the Vietnamese with brainwashing. However, in a Times interview in 2008, Stratton called his actions merely common sense: “You are being tortured, and all you have to do to get them to stop is say the same thing that Bobby Kennedy is saying.”

Lockwood joined the Boston Chapter of the NWU in 1989, inspired by the opportunity to belong to a fighting union. The 1954 graduate of Boston University with a degree in comparative literature showed an avid interest in computers in the early 1990s when other writers were pooh-poohing the emerging technology. Members remember that he gave an informative workshop on that topic for the Western New England Chapter. A review of Boston Chapter doings yielded this from 1993: “Lee Lockwood wanted more on-line exchange of information and ideas, so he pressed the NWU to make our bulletin board an active networking service.”

The major arena where Lockwood contributed his many skills to the NWU was the Grievance and Contract Division where from 1992 to 2005 he spent about 90 percent of his time as a contract advisor. Phil Mattera, the long-standing National Book Grievance Officer, remembers: “Lee was also the member who brought the NWU's first grievance (in 1994) involving an electronic book. Playboy Enterprises was putting together a CD-ROM compilation of interviews from the magazine and planned to include Lee's Castro piece – without asking permission and without more than token compensation. Unlike other contributors to the magazine, Lee had never signed over all rights. After getting publicity for the case in Publishers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal   and other publications, we got Playboy to pay Lee a $1,000 fee.”

Having members of Lee Lockwood’s reputation certainly enhanced the NWU’s stature and encouraged similar writers to join. We salute Lockwood’s many professional achievements and contributions to the NWU as we continue to advocate for freelance writers’ rights which greatly concerned him.

Note: If you wish to send a few words of remembrance to the Lockwood family, you may do so via the online guest book.  It’s interesting to note that Richard Stratton posted the following message there: “Lee's 1967 Life Magazine "Bowing Picture" ensured my release from Hanoi in 1973. For this my family is forever grateful. Deepest sympathy from our family to yours.” One hopes Lockwood knew that. 

Susan E. Davis
National Contract Advisor
Book Division Co-Chair
New York Chapter Co-Chair

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