OPEIU staff seeks NMG representation

More than a dozen top labor professionals from the OPEIU union would become the newest employee group to be represented by the News Media Guild under a petition filed this month with the federal government, Guild officials said.

The Guild filed an organizing petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 12 on behalf of field staff representatives and organizers employed by the Office and Professional Employees International Union.

Believing deeply in the goals and aspirations of the labor movement, many international and local unions themselves have unionized workforces. For example, workers employed by NMG, as well as its parent unions, The Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America, have unionized staffs.

The petition asks the NLRB to certify the group of professional negotiators and organizers who service members and locals that are part of the OPEIU, a white-collar employee union. If workers choose NMG in an election, the Guild would bargain an initial contract for the group.


“We chose the Guild because it puts professionalism in the forefront of bargaining with employers, and because it’s part of a labor family that negotiates contracts for the staffs of the AFL-CIO and many other unions,” members of the OPEIU organizing committee said. “OPEIU urges professional employees to form unions so we are hopeful it will embrace our forming a union, too.”

OPEIU’s website also encourages workers to form unions, noting that workers deserve respect and fairness on the job “along with decent compensation and a safe and healthy work environment. By joining together with your co-workers you can build an employee organization that gives you a real say over your job, puts you on more equal footing with your employer and ensures a better economic future for you and your co-workers.”

NMG represents editorial and technical staff at The Associated Press, workers at the Spanish language EFE News Service, and workers at United Press International.

“We are delighted that a talented group of labor pros chose the NMG for their union,” said NMG President Martha Waggoner. “We’re glad that OPEIU urges employees to organize into unions and engage in collective bargaining. We’re looking forward to a fair and swift process in certifying the Guild as the union for its professional staff.”

A public hearing to define the parameters of the election is set for Sept. 26 before an NLRB hearing officer.