Following the success of the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector Organizing Training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the PPMWS Organizing Cooperative with the support of the AFl-CIO’s Organizing Institute successfully placed four full-time Organizers in four regions of the Sector in October, 2012. Hope Berndt, at the Buffalo-Niagara Typographical Union Local #9, Nicholas Eaton at the New York Typographical Union Local #6, Norm Stachulski at the Detroit Typographical Union Local #18 and Kim Gill at the Pittsburgh Typographical Union Local #7.
Kim Gill, a native of Pittsburgh was a long-standing CWA union steward at Verizon and has subsequently worked as a union organizer for the past year. Kim brings with her years of activism and experience within the labor movement and a drive to organize within her hometown. President Don McConnell and Secretary-Treasurer Marcia Mikesell have been integral in implementing diverse organizing strategies that encompass a broad swath of the Pennsylvania area. Kim has made tremendous progress during her short tenure facilitating organizing efforts in several locations.
Norm Stachulski, a Detroit native and former SEIU union steward, has brought his creativity, determination, and a commitment to social justice to the Detroit Local. Norm has already shown his tenacity as he has actively undertaken a variety of organizing strategies within the Local. Norm’s collaboration with the Detroit Typographical Union’s engaged organizing committee and officers, in particular President Tom Grenfell, has set the course for the development of a local organizing program built from the ground up. Norm has set an example in his efforts to approach organizing head-on from all facets of the Organizing Cooperative: new media targets, local targets and independent union mergers.
Hope Berndt, a native of Indianapolis made the move to Buffalo to guide the organizing efforts of the Buffalo-Niagara local. President Harold Rehm, Vice-President Charles Abbott and Secretary-Treasurer Anita Krystak were integral in supporting Hope’s move to the area and focusing her efforts on longstanding, creative targets that the Local has been fostering. Hope brings with her a wealth of education and organizing experience within the academic and not-for-profit realm. She has been proactive in immersing herself in labor-friendly political organizations within the Buffalo area and has been busy developing targets and getting to know the city. Hope has made tremendous progress employing creative strategies to hone in organizing targets with the collaboration of the Buffalo Local’s active organizing committee.
Nicholas Eaton, a native New Yorker, has brought his talent for community organizing to the New York Typographical Union. Nic has already taken to tackling some challenging organizing scenarios within the local, providing resourceful insight into organizing tactics and undertaking the elements of a potential corporate campaign. President Arthur DeIanni, local officers and staff have prioritized organizing within their local, providing the resources necessary for Nic to explore diverse organizing opportunities. Nic, with the guidance of President DeIanni, has made headway in organizing a long-standing target and the Sector is looking forward to progressive developments in the New Year.
All four organizers will be serving standard 90-day apprenticeships through the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute and will then have the opportunity to become employees of each local, funded jointly by the Sector and locals. Sector President Wasser has been proactively preparing for the program’s continuation and Administrative Organizing Coordinator Kari Bienias has been supporting all of the ongoing campaigns.
“We are hopeful all the apprentices continue to expand on the momentum that they have already fostered within their locals,” said Bienias.
“The Sector is looking forward to the continued support of the Organizing Cooperative and the progression of organizing campaigns within each local into tangible organizing successes in the very near future.”