TakeAction employees unionize, join Newspaper & Communications Guild

MN Guild new logo 3-4-13Employees at TakeAction Minnesota, the progressive-advocacy group based in St. Paul, came together to form a union last week, joining the Minnesota Newspaper & Communications Guild, TNG-CWA Local 37002.

TakeAction employees conducted their organizing campaign under the terms of a “card check” neutrality agreement with their employer. More than two dozen employees signed cards requesting Guild representation. After a neutral arbitrator reviewed the cards Sept. 30, the new unit became official.

TakeAction and the Minnesota Guild announced the result of the organizing drive in a press release yesterday.

“TakeAction has long stood with the labor movement, and now we stand as a part of it,” said Terin Mayer, a TakeAction employee who worked on the organizing campaign. “This shows that as a progressive organization, we walk the walk.”

Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota, credited employees for conducting their organizing drive in a “respectful and professional manner,” and he looked forward to bargaining a first contract with the new unit in a similar spirit.

“We congratulate our staff on choosing the Newspaper Guild as their exclusive representative for collective bargaining,” McGrath said. “As a people’s organization committed to making Minnesota more equitable and democratic, we fervently believe in the right of all workers to organize and bargain collectively. Our staff is no exception.”

Thirty-two TakeAction workers will make up the new Guild unit. It marks the 81-year-old local’s first successful organizing campaign in over a decade.

“We are delighted to welcome TakeAction employees to our union,” Guild President Janet Moore said. “As smart and dedicated folks, they’re an incredible fit with our organization.”

A sector of the Communications Workers of America, the Minnesota Guild represents about 630 members who work at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and other publications, including The Union Advocate. TakeAction employees join a growing number of Guild members who do not work in publishing. The Guild also represents interpreters at Hennepin County Medical Center and workers at the Minneapolis branch of  Clean Water Action, a national progressive organization.

“For more than 80 years, Guild journalists have been speaking truth to power, and that tradition will continue with the addition of our Local’s newest members,” Moore said.

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