Guild hires Michele Salcedo as mobilizer for AP bargaining

News Media Guild members who work at The Associated Press: Get ready to hear a new voice asking you to help with mobilizing.

That’s because the Guild has hired Michele Salcedo, a desk editor in The Associated Press’ Washington, D.C., bureau, as its full-time mobilizer during bargaining for a new contract with the AP.

The current contract expires at the end of September.

Salcedo, who attended the meeting of mobilizers that the Guild held earlier in August, said she‘s excited about getting Guild members energized for the talks.

“AP journalists are among the hardest working, most dedicated practitioners in the business. I am thrilled to lead the mobilization of AP workers to win a fair contract and, with Guild members and staff, to remind the AP of the excellent job we do every day to produce fact-filled journalism on all platforms for the AP and its members.”

Salcedo is membership secretary for the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which has more than 3,000 paid members and a $12 million budget. She also has served on regional and national boards of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists, and is a past national president of the association.

The Guild previously had hired Rick Freeman, a former AP sports staffer, who helped organize al-Jazeera’s U.S. operation, as the mobilizer. Freeman has had to step aside for personal reasons, although he still plans to contribute to the mobilizing.

“We were sorry that Rick had to leave as mobilizer, but we’re pleased that Michele is available to get the staff mobilized for bargaining,” said Guild President Martha Waggoner.

Salcedo is taking leave from her AP job, where she focuses on immigration issues and the general news desk, starting the week of Labor Day.