WGAE Expands Organizing Department

“Organizing work that is not covered by Guild contracts is not optional; it is essential,” said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson in his recent letter to membership.

During the past year under Lowell ’s leadership, the WGAE has significantly increased its organizing efforts. Last September, Justin Molito was hired as director of organizing. He and the organizing department have met with hundreds of members and potential members, conducted in-depth research into particular employers and industry segments, and mapped out several strategic campaigns. In addition, the WGAE has been successful in signing shows outside the networks and major studios. We signed 13 significant cable shows to the 2008 MBA, including shows on Comedy Central, VH-1, here!, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, ESPN, MTV 2, ION, and The History Channel, plus three made-for-new-media programs, seven low budget feature films, and five foreign-produced projects.  

 We continue to strengthen our organizing operation. Ursula Lawrence is joining the WGAE as Lead Strategic Organizer. A nine-year veteran of the labor movement, Ursula has learned methods of strategic research and organizing at SEIU, was staff organizer at the AFT, and for the past three years as been a field representative and internal organizer at the Directors Guild of America.

Her expertise and industry knowledge will be a great asset as we continue our organizing in, new media, news, documentaries, animation and more.