WBNG Green Zone Policy

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Green Zone

(Proposals of Jan. 29, 2005 )

The Washington-Baltimore New Guild, a broad based union of journalists, advertising sales staff, professional staff, administrative and customer service support staff, and technical professionals recognizes the necessity for the Guild to take positions on issues which affect the economic and social well-being of our current and future members, as well as the well-being and security of our families. We also recognize that professional ethics and standards of our journalist members often require abstaining from community, civic, and partisan matters that create a conflict of interest.

Our mission to protect and enhance the well being of our members cannot be achieved merely by bargaining and enforcing contracts. Rather, we must judiciously support the broader issues, which directly impact both our power at the table and the employer’s options at the table. Further, we must support the concerted actions of other unionized workers wherever possible if the labor movement is to reach its greatest potential and bring economic and social justice to the workplace.

All of our members are free, of course, as Americans, to take their own positions and act upon them. WBNG’s actions are not the actions of each individual of the union, just as a politician’s actions are not the actions of each and every voter who cast a vote his way. The Local must take actions and support causes after sensitive and deliberate debate reflecting the concerns of our individual members, yet must not shy away from supporting in a broader arena the very issues for which we fight at the bargaining table.

We therefore agree that:

The Executive Council of WBNG may elect to take the following actions under the following situations:

  • Inform and educate Guild members on issues that support workers.
  • Endorse, announce to members, and participate in concerted actions that support union, labor, and journalism issues locally and nationally.
  • Invite any publicly known individual to demonstrate support for any Guild contract or other campaign (after receiving approval from the unit leadership, where there is a unit).
  • With notice to membership as provided in the by-laws (15 days) and opportunity for membership approval at a membership meeting (specially called, if necessary) endorse legislation relating to issues commonly appearing at the bargaining table (i.e., health care, retirement security, living wage, etc.)
  • The Local shall not endorse any candidate for office; however, the local may provide members with factual information on candidates’ positions, and may inform members of AFL-CIO, central labor council, or other organization’s email activists lists, and get-out-the-vote or similar activities in order that members may make individual decisions about participation.