|Bernie Lunzer was elected president of The NewsGuild-CWA in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015. He served as secretary-treasurer (now executive vice president) from 1995 to 2008 after working as administrative officer of the Minnesota Guild. And before all that, he took Guild leave to serve as strike captain in 1986.
Bernie got a job in the Advertising department of the St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch in 1979, requesting his union card on his first day. From there, he worked in promotion, circulation and the newsroom. He served on his first bargaining committee in 1981 and two more while unit chair in St. Paul. While administrative officer, he led negotiations in St. Paul and at the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, and other smaller units.
Bernie worked for over a year on a pay equity committee involving over 200 positions, while also serving on the health & safety and worker participation committees. The Minnesota local became a model for pushing into areas beyond collective bargaining by using joint worker/management committees to help address employees’ issues.
While Guild secretary-treasurer, Bernie assisted the Detroit strikers, representing the International Guild in bargaining in an attempt to secure a negotiated settlement after a return to work. He participated in multiple contract negotiations throughout the U.S. and helped locals in Canada and Puerto Rico on major issues.
Bernie served as a pension trustee while in Minnesota and is a trustee and co-chair of the Guild’s international pension plan. He helped to implement a new secure, low-risk plan as an option for Guild members. He has also pursued several alternative ownership strategies in the media industry.
||Jon Schleuss is a Los Angeles Times data and graphics journalist, college instructor and successful union organizer who grew up in rural south Arkansas.
In late 2016, Jon and a colleague launched the organizing campaign that resulted in an overwhelming victory for the NewsGuild at The Times, whose newsroom had never been unionized.
The creative tactical moves and communication strategies that Jon helped plot and execute in Times campaign were replicated in successful Guild drives across the country.
Jon’s roots as an activist date to his undergraduate years at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he organized marches and served on the board of a nonprofit that advances LGBTQ rights.
Ten years ago, he became online editor at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he learned the importance of leadership and innovation in a changing industry. He established the company’s social media accounts, promoted the use of blogging, and published breaking news online throughout the day.
Jon also worked as a reporter and weekend host at a local NPR station before moving to L.A. in 2013 to join The Times.
In the Guild campaign, Jon and his fellow organizers used their leadership skills and journalism smarts to unite the newsroom, outmaneuver the company’s anti-union efforts, expose pay inequities among the staff and report on corporate mismanagement.
For the past three years, in addition to his Times and Guild duties, Jon has taught journalism students how to code as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.