President’s Column

NWU Elections 2018

First, let me say “Thank You,” for your overwhelming show of support given to me and our national leadership in the recent election. I am really looking forward to what we can all achieve together as a union over the next three years, building on our recent successes. Let me also congratulate all of the Chapter Chairs, SC members and Delegates who have been elected.

There is something very special about this election. As you know, we won a big victory last year against Ebony Media and their owners CVG Group, a private equity firm. About 48 freelancers won more than $80,000 that was owed to them, plus another smaller group received more than $10,000 during the grievance process.

For the writers, the big payoff is getting what’s rightfully owed to them. For all writers, the big payoff is building a bigger and stronger union that can defend freelancers. But for NWU, the big payoff is winning the working writers we represent in these grievances to contribute their experience, knowledge and leadership skills to the union. And this election has given us a taste of that.

In particular, AJ Springer is joining the NEC as Guide; Biba Adams in Detroit is the new Chair of the Southeast Michigan Chapter; and Adeshina Emmanuel is the new Co-Chair of the Chicago Chapter with Jorge Mujica. Also, Adrienne Gibbs just represented NWU at the IFJ Gender Council meeting this month in Spain, and Demetria Irwin has been elected a Delegate in New York. They join VP Pamela K. Johnson (Heart & Soul) and VP Mauricio Niebla  and Trustee Jan Kraus (both from Inkwell), who met the union through group non-payment grievances. As a result of the Ebony non-payment grievance, we are a stronger union.

I also want to thank Jan Kraus, Alecia Goodlow-Young and Mark Connor, for their years of service as they are all stepping off of the NEC. We are all extremely grateful for your contributions over the past six years and more, and will continue to seek out your opinions and counsel. I also want to thank Election Committee Chair Sandra Campbell for everything she has done and continues to do.

Delegate Assembly 2018

The Delegate Assembly will be August 10 –12 in NYC. We’re expecting about 40 or so delegates and national officers to review our work and to plan a future course for the union. We’ll be making much more use of social media and web conferencing to involve any members that want to participate. We’ll review reports on:
–our advocacy on copyright domestically and internationally

–our progress on negotiating freelancer contracts and non-payment grievances
–a report from the IFJ Gender Council meeting
–our social media communications
–various resolutions, proposals and more.

We’ll hear from guest speakers Reem Ramadan from the Arab-American Association of NY and Ginger Adams Otis, the labor reporter for the NY Daily News. If you would like to volunteer to work on the DA, or help set up a web conference connection in your city, let me know.