Members Bill Shern, Gary Mortlock, Catherine Hills and Nick Geranios at the AP buro and Data Center in Spokane.

A lot of key AP content flows through an unlikely location in Eastern Washington.

I visited the Spokane Data Center this week, meeting staffers who handle a significant amount of the election and sports results that AP provides. It’s one of those behind-the-scenes operations that gets little attention, but would surely get noticed if something went wrong.

It got me thinking that in some ways, Spokane is like the Guild.

In the same way that the work done in Spokane makes it possible for the wire to deliver the stuff AP members need, the Guild-negotiated contract provides members and non-members alike with benefits and protections that wouldn’t be there otherwise, but would surely be missed.

Over the years, Guild contracts have provided for more than just periodic raises. Our health insurance, scheduling rules and differentials, holiday and vacation time, sabbaticals, parental leave and more have all come through negotiations.

Spokane member Gary Mortlock puts his views on membership this way: Signing a card supports those members who came before him when the contract he now enjoys was crafted. And it supports those who will come in the future, and find they can rely on a strong contract made possible because he was a member.

I’ll add that joining the Guild also supports your co-workers now. Because membership makes us stronger, and better able to bargain and enforce our contract.

-AJ Connelly, NMG Recruiting Coordinator