Helping the Newspaper Guild

Dateline: Tue 13 Sep 2011

Here's an email from the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, which includes suggestions former Star/News people may want to follow -- more ways to support the newspaper, other than subscribing and reading.  Lots of good pro-active strategies here.


"The Guild is about to embark on a season of activity that it hasn't seen in a long time. We've run some WFYI radio ads and may do some more. Our website,, is humming. We've been in the IBJ on Amos Brown's radio show. The Indianapolis Monthly has a feature coming out on us next week. . Our billboard goes up next week. And negotiations haven't even begun. (They start Tuesday).

"The next stage is our ground game -- getting everyone involved at the grassroots. This is VITAL -- more important than billboards or anything else. We must show that we are united and motivated. Each activity that we pursue has a goal. But your participation is a victory all on its own. It says to management that you're paying attention, you're not willing to sit quietly by. If the company sees we are together and are committed, it makes it harder for them to dismiss our demands.

"With that in mind, here are three ways to get involved. -- Bobby

We will be handing out 1,000 handbills (papers with a brief Guild message and info about at each of the Colts first three home games. We need you to sign up for which games you are interested in leafletting. Here are the first three dates:

Sept. 18 -- Cleveland (1 p.m. game time). That’s this Sunday.

Sept. 25 -- Pittsburgh (8:25 p.m. game time).

Oct. 9 -- Kansas City (1 p.m. game time).

"You will need to be outside the Stadium bout 2 hours before game time. We’ll hand out the leaflets until they’re gone. Wear red to stand out in a crowd of blue. Some of us will be bringing our kids. Some former Guild members have expressed a desire to help. You're plenty welcome. To sign up for a game, contact Guild president Bobby King at or 509-9026.

"WEARING RED on Friday
Starting this Friday, Sept. 16, we’re going to be wearing red on Fridays. Red shirts are ideal. But if you’ve got a red necktie, a red scarf, a red dress (like McFeely!), or a red pair of pants, go for it.

"Why does wearing red matter? Because it shows unity. It shows we’re together. And red is appropriate because -- let’s face it -- we’re angry. This seems like a small thing. But if the newsroom starts looking like a rose garden on Fridays, people will notice. Word will get upstairs that the natives are restless. And besides, you’re going to get dressed for work any way, is it really so hard to dress for the cause? Don’t have red? Ask a friend. Stop by Goodwill. After your last pay cut, you’re probably at Goodwill anyway. See you there.

"Be our liaison to the local labor movement
We’re trying to build connections in the local labor movement. This could include reaching out to other labor union locals but also to churches, synagogues or other faith-based groups with a social justice concern and organizations dedicated to these issues. We’ve got several leads already -- phone numbers and contacts and such. We just need someone (or more than one person) to reach out to them. This could really come in handy if we need to do (informational) pickets/protests down the road. We may need you to go to some of their meetings to build contacts. This is very important. Consider if you can help us here.

"Other ways to get involved

None of these above appeals to you? That’s OK. But find a way to get involved. Maybe it’s helping us plan, organize and set up our guild meetings. Maybe it’s using one of your own talents -- musical, artistic -- for the cause. Be creative. Don’t hesitate to propose something offbeat. We’re looking to catch attention of the public. Here are some ideas to prime your pump:

*Desk tents: If you don’t have one, get one. Put it up so it can be seen. This is an easy one. See a Guild officer if you need one.

*Screen Savers: Adjust your screen saver to reflect your feelings about Gannett, to promote the Guild or the Save The Star campaign. Perfectly legal. Just like the desk tents. Be creative. Here's one possibility: "The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild... Saving the Star from Gannett." Feel free to steal that. There's no copyright.

*Gas cans: One of the areas we’re concerned about are low mileage reimbursement rates. If that’s an issue you care about, bring an EMPTY (preferrably new) gas can to work and display it prominently on your desk.

*Cardboard cutouts: Want to remember a friend who got the ax in a past round of layoffs? Make a life-sized cardboard cutout and stand them in your cubicle. It’s a memorial. It’s a protest. OK, this is nutty. But it's an example of how we all need to think differently. "

I don't think any of this is nutty. Expecting readers to save the paper by making phone calls to that idiot exec editor and heartless publisher, maybe, a bit.

But these strategies are asking for visual/emotional responses to management's endless cost-cutting, plus reaching out to other labor groups. Go for it, Guild.


Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Calling Mr. Milz. That's funny.

If you're real LUCKY, he might include the call in his weekly "column."

2011-09-13 08:31:39

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Don't think ya'll are going to get much help from the teachers unions in Indiana - which you basically helped to destroy.

2011-09-13 14:11:12

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