NewsGuild Challenger Threatens to File Federal Charges if NewsGuild Doesn’t Agree to New Union Election

61 year old NewsGuild Incumbent Bernie Lunzer (left) faces the threat of federal investigation by his challenger Jon Schleuss (right)

Over Memorial Day weekend, Jon Schleuss, a 31-year-old LA Times journalist who lost his union election to 61-year-old NewsGuild incumbent Bernie Lunzer by a mere 261 votes, threatened to file federal charges unless a new union election is held.

The call for a new union election is being issued after over 3,000 members of the Guild’s members largely in pro-Schleuss units failed to receive information about how to vote in the election.

The move comes as Schleuss filed charges with the election committee of the NewsGuild citing numerous violations of federal labor law. Shcleuss is also calling for a new union election. (The full 11-page charges can be viewed here)

The election committee of the NewsGuild-CWA now has 10 days in which to consider the charges. If the election committee fails to do so than Schleuss will appeal the election to the executive committee of the News-Guild CWA.

If the NewsGuild-CWA does not take action, Schleuss has said that he would refer to the matter to the Department of Labor to investigate.

The threat of a federal investigation is a serious one as the Trump Administration, who has taken on the press, would almost surely glad love to investigate the NewsGuild. However, it’s a step that Schleuss says that he’s willing to take to ensure union democracy in his union.

“I forced an election my opponent did not want and Guild leadership was ill-prepared to handle. The last competitive race was more than a decade ago. But I ran my campaign on a promise of increased democracy and transparency, and I will continue to fight for it” said Schleuss.

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About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of the late William Greider, Mike Elk is a yinzer labor reporter, who covered the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for the Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report while living in Chattanooga. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he now lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

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