I was privileged to know and work with Peter during my entire length of service at the Guild. As a rank-and-file Guild leader at Reuters, Peter’s dedication and leadership abilities always stood out. He was constantly in touch with his members, whether in Washington, New York, Los Angeles or elsewhere, and without fail tirelessly worked and fought for them at the bargaining table and in countless grievances and arbitrations, often putting his member’s well-being ahead of his own career as a journalist. He was instrumental in negotiating several major contracts and in organizing Reuters TV employees into the unit.
In addition to his work for his unit, Peter also served several terms, with distinction, as Local Chairperson of The NewsGuild of New York, and as a Regional Vice President of the New York Guild’s parent union, The NewsGuild-CWA.
It was natural for me to ask Peter, who was a proven leader and accomplished negotiator, to run for Secretary-Treasurer at the New York Guild when I retired in 2007. He agreed to do so, in spite of the fact that it meant leaving his journalism career and his home in Washington to move to New York. While serving as Secretary-Treasurer, Peter built up the Guild’s assets by some $1,750,000, protected members by actively pursuing grievances, and played a significant role in negotiating contracts for a number of units. Peter made a major contribution in preserving a strong health care fund at The Times, and also in helping design and negotiate a new Adjustable Pension Plan both at The Times and Consumer Reports.
Peter became President of the New York Guild upon the retirement of the previous President last year. And since then, he has continued to deliver strong contracts, organize new units, add staff members to better serve the members, encouraged membership input, and fought for all of the workers in the New York Guild’s 20 units, both large and small.
Throughout his many years of Guild involvement, Peter has always put his strong commitment to the labor movement, and his dedication to improving the working lives of the woman and men he represents first, ahead of what would often be best for his own personal interests.
This is a difficult time for the union movement, where management is trying to encroach on the rights and benefits that are important to us. These are times when we must fight to keep the benefits and protections we have, and where it is essential that the Guild has, at its helm, someone who can understand the intricacies and issues the Guild must face. What is needed is someone who understands the complexities, and stands up to management. I firmly believe that Peter has the knowledge, the intelligence and understanding of the issues, to do so. I ask you to vote for Peter and his entire slate of candidates, who will always be there working for you.