NMG President Winton to remain involved in Guild after term ends

After 10 years in office, News Media Guild President Tony Winton announced that he’s stepping down and turning the reins over to new leadership.

Martha Waggoner, first vice president, will become president in February.

“I would say Tony is stepping aside ‘to pursue other interests,’ but I hesitate because that has a ring of dishonesty to journalists,” Waggoner said. “But in Tony’s case, it’s true. He has so many interests _ the law and his church among them _ that his calendar will be as full after he leaves the Guild as it was before. Plus, he’s agreed to continue to work with the Guild so that we can call him on for the help I know we will need.”

Winton led the Guild during a tumultuous time for our local, The Newspaper Guild and the journalism industry.  As he mentioned in his email, organizing new shops is important to the survival of our union. And it’s because of his foresight that the Executive Committee and the Representative Assembly included money to hire an organizer next year.

“Tony was always a vigorous enforcer of members’ rights,” Waggoner said. “He knows the contract inside and out and would go over it repeatedly to find a way to help a member in distress.  Little upset him more than to close a case where we were morally right but not backed by the contract or law.”

The Guild leaders and members appreciate that Winton wants to continue to spend time helping the Guild, despite the countless hours and sleepless night he’s already dedicated to our union.  “He specifically wants to continue to lead the bargaining at EFE, our Spanish-language unit that he organized, a move I fully support,” Waggoner said.

Guild administrator Kevin Keane said Winton’s highlights involve organizing other units.

“Tony’s proudest moment as our president was organizing the EFE News Agency and helping them negotiate their first contract,” Keane said “That is closely followed by helping his colleagues in AP Mexico City organize themselves into a viable union that can negotiate better working conditions and overseeing the merger of the Editorial and Technology Units.”

Keane said those are among his proudest moments as well. “We need to follow his advice and example and do more of it because it helps us to negotiate better contracts,” he said.

Adolphe Bernotas, head of the union’s Retirees Council, said Winton worked especially hard at the politics of NMG’s parent union, The Newspaper Guild. “His efforts helped our local win much needed bargaining and other assistance,” Bernotas said. “He also helped create our local’s Retirees Council, knowing that people who leave often have vested interests, a love of journalism and concern for colleagues still employed at AP. His efforts over the years resulted in much to be thankful for.”

 Winton remains president until Feb. 22, 2012.