Welcome to the National Writers Union

The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.

Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.

Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers.  Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power.

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Special Announcements

05/15/2012 - 8:56am

NWU Members Participate in Copyright Symposium - NWU Book Division Co-Chair Edward Hasbrouck reports

NWU members Edward Hasbrouck, Mike Bradley, and Bruce Hartford participated in a symposium on copyright law, "orphan works" the holders of some rights to which cannot be located by some of those who want to use them, and mass digitization of books (i.e. scanning and conversion to e-books of entire library collections) at U.C. Berkeley on April 12-13.

A white paper endorsed by the NWU, "Facts and Fallacies of Orphan Works" (pdf), was included in the conference proceedings and distributed at the event.

As an indication of the tone of the symposium, the most enthusiastic and positive response was to one of the speakers, Prof. Lydia Loren, who suggested that instead of referring to "orphan works" we should call them "hostage works" (a suggestion that was, in fact, taken up by several later speakers!) for which "special operations" (illustrated in her slides by armed commandos) would be necessary to "free" them from "rightholders" who are keeping them from the would-be reading public.

Unfortunately, most of the proposals for licensing-by-default of books and other works determined to be "orphaned", as well as broader proposals that would include default licensing of all "out of commerce" or "out of print" books, have emerged from discussions in which working writers have not been included. Although the NWU has been in dialogue with the organizers of the symposium, who acknowledged this as an "oversight", none of the speakers represented working writers.

The danger is that many works will be categorized as "orphans", and even more as "out of print" in the original editions on paper, even though authors have reissued them (and are earning royalties or Web advertising revenues from having done so) as e-books or on the Web.

I have tried to explain these problems in a follow-up article directed particularly to librarians and scholars: What do authors fear from "Orphan Works" licensing proposals?

Licensing-by-default of orphan works" (and, munged with them, "out of commerce" works) may seem a peripheral issue. But following the rejection of the proposed Google Books settlement, and with other library book-scanning projects under separate legal attack, legislation to authorize scanning and distribution in e-book or online form of "orphan works" is at the center of proposals to legalize mass scanning and electronic distribution of backlist books and periodical archives, without permission of (and in most cases without payment to) the writers.

The threat of laws like this is real, in the US and in other countries (especially the UK) where books and periodicals by US writers might be found in library collections and swept into these schemes.

Earlier this year France passed a shocking law allowing scanning of "orphan" works *and* allowing publishers to issue e-books of works they have issued on paper that are out of print in that format, regardless of whether those publishers ever acquired electronic rights. French and other writers have protested this law as a violation of fundamental rights. See: France Guillotines Copyright, Pétition Le droit d'auteur doit rester inaliénable, and Le ministère de la Culture face aux auteurs du Droit du serf.

Similar legislation is pending in the European Union, and if passed would of course include the UK, where many US publishers -- both commercial and academic -- simultaneously publish first editions. (We've been having productive discussions with some European Parliament staff, but there's no consideration yet in the EU debate of working writers' concerns.)

International entities such as IFRRO (in which the NWU participates, and with whose members we have raised our concerns) and WIPO (with whom we have also raised our concerns) are also looking at the issue, with WIPO considering the possibility of changes to the fundamental copyright treaty, the Berne Convention, for library book-scanning.

And in the US? In her keynote speech at the Berkeley symposium, US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante (a former Executive Director of the NWU) said that "orphan works" legislation would be introduced in Congress next year, after the elections, with the Obama Administration's support.

The argument for such a law in the US was made by Prof. Pamela Samuelson of Berkeley -- the person most responsible for the symposium, and on other issues an ally of the NWU -- in an op-ed in the LA Times. Prof. Samuelson's arguments, which we will have to deal with in coming debates in Congress and with the public, include:

(1) Nobody is making any money from "orphan (or "out of commerce") works, so who cares what libraries do with them? (This ignores the ways authors are profitably re-issuing or re-using works, as e-books and/or online, that are "out of print" in their original editions.)

(2) There is already a "broad consensus" in support of "orphan works" legislation. (This "consensus" is among those who want to use these works for free. Working writers who created these books and articles, and in most cases own the electronic rights to them, haven't yet had a place at the table, and aren't part of any such consensus.)

(3) Everyone else (Canada, France, the EU) is doing it, so the US should get with the program. (The Canadian law is much more limited than previous US or current EU proposals. And as noted above, the French law has been the subject of vehement protest by French and many other writers.)

(4) A digital library would be a Good Thing, so why would anyone object? (We're all for a digital library, and would happily join librarians in lobbying for the appropriation of funds to pay programmers to build it, librarians to staff it, *and* authors for the content to fill it. Librarians and salaried academics don't work for free. Why should we?)

The NWU national officers and Book Division co-chairs are meeting soon with a delegation from the American Library Association to discuss this and other issues related to library use of e-books. We hope to find ways to work together with libraries to enable writers to license our work directly to libraries, if we so choose on an "opt in" basis.

We were pleased to be able at least to attend the Berkeley symposium, but we have a lot of work to do to educate librarians, legislators, and the public about how these proposals would undermine our livelihoods.

As usual, more information is available on the NWU Book Division website.

Read more...
05/09/2012 - 11:32am

NWU Defends First Amendment: No Restrictions On Peaceful Public Communication, Assembly And Dissent

The Chicago Chapter of the National Writers Union, Local 1981 of the United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO, today issued a statement, demanding no restrictions on peaceful public communication, assembly and dissent.

"We are appalled at the efforts by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Administration, backed by the Chicago City Council, to limit the ability of people to speak truth to power, and to be able to  indicate the depth and intensity of their disgust at the on-going wars initiated around the world by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the U.S. Government, under control by both the Democrats and Republicans, who will soon be meeting in Chicago.  Support for these wars is at its lowest it has ever been.  Yet the Mayor's policies are intended to prevent our people from visibly demonstrating their opposition to this on-going violence overseas, and the accompanying militarization--with accompanying attacks on the First Amendment and our civil liberties--of our society at home.  We strongly demand that this misguided policy be repudiated, and that recognition of our First Amendment rights be made the priority of authorities here at home," said Kim Scipes, Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the National Writers Union.

We stand in solidarity with the National Nurses United and their struggle to protest peacefully on May 18.

See NWU Chicago press release here (Word.doc).

Read more...
05/06/2012 - 9:24pm

Google book-scanning lawsuit re-focuses on snippets and fair use

Google continues to scan millions of books from cooperating university libraries, including general books that are still in print and in copyright. But multiple lawsuits by writers, artists, and illustrators against Google and its library "partners" are also continuing.

A proposed settlement of one of those lawsuits, to which the National Writers Union and many other writers successfully objected, would have allowed Google to use for its own profit, display online, and license as e-books the full text of the books it has scanned, without authors' consent.

Since that proposed settlement was rejected by the court, the case has been narrowed to focus on Google's initial scanning of copyrighted books and display on its website of excerpts from those books.

The main question is whether that falls within the limited exception to the requirement of permission for "fair use" that doesn't "interfere with normal exploitation" of copyrighted work.

Prof. James Grimmelmann has a report on the latest hearing in Authors Guild v. Google, and an overview of the case, in his blog:  GBS: Oral Argument Recap

Documents and a calendar of future court hearings and filing deadlines in this and related cases are available at  The Public Index, a project of Prof. Grimmelmann and his students at New York Law School.

Read more...
05/04/2012 - 8:10pm

IFJ Marks World Press Freedom Day by Calling for Release of Jailed Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates are marking this year’s World Press Freedom Day by calling for the release of journalists held for their professional activities. The IFJ says that reform of criminal defamation law and anti-terror legislation is urgently needed as they account for the majority of reporters’ detention cases.

“We are witnessing unprecedented levels of criminal litigation against journalists in many countries,” said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “This is one of the worst forms of censorship facing media and governments must repeal criminal defamation law and review the anti- terror laws which represent a major obstacle to genuine press freedom.”

Over 150 journalists are in currently in jail around the world, some of whom have been detained for years without trial. In China, over 20 journalists have been arrested as the authorities continue their attempts to control and censure independent reporting.

In Eritrea, at least 25 journalists have been detained without ever being charged with any criminal offences. Some of them have spent over a decade in jail following the government’s drive to suppress independent media in the country.

Seven journalists are believed to be held in Ethiopia, including two Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson who have been convicted on terrorism charges.

In Iran, the IFJ affiliated organisation, the Association of Iranian (AoIJ) Journalists   estimates that 30 journalists remain behind the bars following the media clampdown in the wake of the disputed Presidential election of June 2009. Turkey, meanwhile, has the record of held journalists with over 60 of them in prison facing terror related accusations.

Journalists often face rough justice, including denial of due process and justice. The Federation says the detention of Yemeni journalist AbdelHadi Al Shaye is a case in point. Al Shaye was pardoned by former President Ali Abdallah Saleh but is being kept behind bars to serve out his three year jail term at the behest of the US administration for alleged links with al Qaida.

The IFJ welcomed the recent release of all detained journalists in Burma but warns that for many of their colleagues around, World Press Freedom Day rings hollow when their rights are routinely ignored and freedoms violated.

“Governments should stop paying lip service to press freedom and live up to their international obligations, including enforcing journalists’ rights,” added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. “In this regard, they should make the release of all detained journalists their top priority.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries

Read more...
04/30/2012 - 2:25pm

NWU Activists Will Tell Arianna Huffington to “Pay the Writer”

On Wednesday, May 2, members of the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981’s Pay the Writer campaign will be rallying against Arianna Huffington’s presence as the guest of honor at the National Women’s Law Center’s 40th birthday celebration.

Although the Huffington Post is one of the largest and most successful web sites in the world, it continues to exploit unpaid contributors. Through its “Off the Bus” program, the Huffington Post invites “citizen journalists’ to cover the election, at their own expense, for no pay. Pay the Writer believes if you do original reporting, work with an editor, and publish at a for-profit web site, you should be compensated for your work.

Pay the Writer is committed to reversing the race-to-the-bottom in online publishing. NWU launched the campaign when AOL purchased The Huffington Post for $315 million and none of the money went to the countless journalists and writers whose unpaid labor built the site.

Location: 580 West End Avenue (between 88th and 89th Streets), 5:30, May 2

Read more...
04/26/2012 - 12:46pm

From our friends at the Freelancers Union:

“Freelancers lose precious time and money chasing their checks or taking legal action. Sometimes they just walk away – at an even greater cost to their pride and pocketbook. That’s why Freelancers Union is launching The World’s Longest Invoice and a nationwide conversation about not getting paid for your work – and how to avoid it.

“On May 22, we’ll deliver the World’s Longest Invoice to lawmakers to urge them to pass the Freelancer Payment Protection, a model bill in New York that gives freelancers the same protection as “traditional” employees. This bill will create a historic precedent to be replicated throughout the country. Step right up and be a part of making history for the workforce of the future.”

Click here for more info: Worlds Longest Invoice

Read more...
03/29/2012 - 2:02pm

National Writers Union Supports General Strike in Spain

The National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, stands in solidarity with our brother and sister journalists in Spain and the March 29 General Strike. Among the many writers’ organizations supporting the strike are the International Federation of Journalists, the Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadania de CC.OO (FSC-CC.OO) and the Federation of Journalists' Unions of Spain (FeSP).

Spanish journalists are protesting draconian austerity measures that were introduced by the conservative government on behalf of big business, European and world financial institutions. These measures would weaken collective bargaining agreements, make lay-offs much easier, cut public services and reduce social benefits for the unemployed.

Journalists and media employees, like other workers, have been severely affected by low salaries, precarious working conditions and rising unemployment. Reports are that nearly 3,000 media employees have lost their jobs since 2008; with another 1,000 expected to lose their jobs this quarter.

We trust the General Strike will be a major success and force the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to go back to the negotiation table with the unions for labor law reform.

In Solidarity,

Larry Goldbetter, President
National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981

Read more...
03/26/2012 - 1:32pm

The "Committee responsible for authoring Egypt's constitution failed to include one member of the writing union despite the group submitting a proposed list of names. Egypt's renowned intellectuals tell Ahram Online worse is to come." Read more here.

Read more...
03/21/2012 - 2:08pm

Sadly long-time, devoted National Writers Union member Steve Turner passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday night. His loving wife and another long-time union member, Anne was by his side.

Steve was an accomplished and well-respected writer, who fiercely defended the rights of writers. As an important member of the national grievance and contracts committee, Steve devoted innumerable hours to helping writers get paid for their work and negotiating for fair, decent contracts with publishers.

A founding member of the Santa Cruz/Monterey chapter, he led us to play an active role in the local writers' community and propelled our small local into playing a prominent role in the national organization.

His keen sense of humor, decent political views, and friendliness inspired us. Can we ever forget the many semi-annual union parties where writers gathered to share stories and assist each other? Steve was an admirable man who will be sorely missed, and long remembered.

His ashes will be spread at the family home in Vermont, and the local will keep you informed about an upcoming memorial.

If you have any memories, recollections, incidents, or experiences involving Steve that you would like to share, please send them in return email. We hope to combine them into a booklet for the memorial.

Don Monkerud
Santa Cruz/Monterey Chapter, NWU

Read more...
03/09/2012 - 2:18pm
Louis Reyes Rivera .....Presente!
Viewing, Funeral & Repass Information
Viewing will take place on Sunday, March 11th from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Bell Funeral Home, 536 Sterling Place, Brooklyn.

Funeral will be on Monday, March 12th at same place at 10 am.
Burial will be at Cypress Hills Cemetery oat 833 Jamaica Ave, Brooklyn,
which is about 20 minutes from funeral parlor.

The repass will take place at Sista's Place, 456 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, right after the burial at the cemetery. That is Louis' home away from home where he conducted his workshops and also performed with many of his groups over the years.
Read more...

Union News

07/27/2011 - 6:24pm

By Wendy Werris
Jul 27, 2011

In a move as significant for its breadth as its implications for the future of book coverage, the Los Angeles Times book review laid off all of its freelance book reviewers and columnists on July 21.

Susan Salter Reynolds was with the Times for 23 years as both a staffer and freelancer and wrote the “Discoveries” column that appeared each week in the Sunday book review. She was told that her column was cancelled and will not be replaced by another writer. “I don’t know where these layoffs fit into the long-storied failure at the Times,” she said yesterday, “but these are not smart business decisions. This is shabby treatment.”

Jon Thurber, editor of the book review, explained to Reynolds last Thursday that all books-related stories will now be done in-house, and that the decision to cease eliminate non-staffers was based on his freelance budget being cut. Richard Raynard’s popular “Paperback Writers” has also been eliminated. As children’s books editor at the Times for the last several years Sonja Bolle, who most recently wrote the monthly “WordPlay” column, said, “This indicates an even deeper contraction of the business, a continuation of a process at the Times that doesn’t stop here.” Bolle is most concerned about the shrinking coverage of children’s books. “This is a great loss for readers,” she said of the elimination of her column.

Four staffers remain in the book review section: David Ulin, Carolyn Kellogg, Nick Owchar, and Thurber. In December 2009 the Times laid off 40 features writers, including Reynolds and Bolle, but brought many of them back to work part-time. “We were paid about one-third of what we had been making, and lost our health insurance,” Reynolds says. "Then two months ago we were shifted to freelance status, which meant none of us were allowed to enter the Times building.” Thurber did make an exception for Reynolds so she could come to the office to pick up the multiple review copies she received daily in order to produce her column.

When contacted, Thurber deferred to Nancy Sullivan, the Times’s v-p of communications. “This was a cost-saving move,” she said, “strictly related to our budget.” Sullivan would not provide details on the number of freelancers who were eliminated last week. “Staff writers from outside the book department will take over for those who left. We have not changed our commitment to book coverage or the amount of space the Times will devote to it.”

07/22/2011 - 4:39pm

There was a "status conference" July 19th in New York in the ongoing Federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Google for scanning millions of books without the permission of the copyright holders.

The parties to the lawsuit asked for more time to try to negotiate a new settlement proposal. Judge Chin scheduled another hearing for September 15th, but suggested that if the parties had not reached at least an agreement in principle by then, he would set a schedule for the case to move forward toward discovery, briefing, argument, and decision of the legal issues without an agreed-upon settlement.

Law Prof. James Grimmelmann, who spoke at the NWU's forum on the case last year, has more about the hearing in his blog:
http://laboratorium.net/archive/2011/07/19/gbs_status_conference_opt-in_settlement_in_the_wor

Earlier this year, Judge Chin agreed with the NWU and numerous other writers' organizations from around the world that the previous settlement proposal was not "fair and adequate".  But Google, the Association of American Publishers, and the Authors Guild (whose membership is limited to authors of books published by major publishers with substantial advances, unlike the NWU which is open to all writers) have continued to exclude the NWU and all other interested parties from their ongoing negotiations.

The NWU is continuing to monitor the case, and will advise our members on future developments.  Backgorund information incluidng the NWU's submissions to the court is available from the NWU Book Division at: http://www.nwubook.org

07/15/2011 - 5:07pm

BBC journalists in one-day strike

BBC Television Centre The BBC has apologised to viewers and listeners
for any disruption
Continue reading the main story
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14152795?print=true#story_continues_1>

Journalists at the BBC have begun a 24-hour strike in a row over
compulsory redundancies.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of
industrial action last month because a number of World Service
journalists are facing compulsory redundancy.

The NUJ has warned that the strike will cause "widespread disruption" to
radio and TV programmes.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "disappointed" by the action.

Viewers and listeners saw some changes to BBC output on Friday morning
as a result of the strike.


BBC journalists in one-day strike
BBC          Television CentreThe BBC has apologised to viewers and listeners for any disruption
Continue reading the main story
Journalists at the BBC have begun a 24-hour strike in a row over compulsory redundancies.
Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of industrial action last month because a number of World Service journalists are facing compulsory redundancy.
The NUJ has warned that the strike will cause "widespread disruption" to radio and TV programmes.
A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "disappointed" by the action.
Viewers and listeners saw some changes to BBC output on Friday morning as a result of the strike.

07/14/2011 - 4:09pm

Forty years after it was first published, the book Occupied America: The History of Chicanos has been banned, and its author, Rudolfo Acuña, widely published professor and prominent immigrant-rights activist thinks he knows why.

To Acuña, a member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, it boils down to two things: numbers and control. He says that banning his book and shutting down an ethnic studies program that has been widely successful in Arizona are part of an effort to undermine social inclusion and financial uplift for Chicanos, or people of Mexican descent. Not only has his work come under fire, but Acuña has received numerous death threats from unidentifiable individuals who are at odds with his commitment to improving the system of education and living conditions for Chicanos. 

This work is very much tied to the immigration issue, which Acuña, who was born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrants, says, "puts panic in people [and makes them think] 'We're losing our country.'"

This might be why so many politicians have rallied against his groundbreaking work in Chicano Studies - an academic program he helped develop in the late 1960s at California State University, Northridge. While this initiative remains the longest running and largest such program, many others have since been established at universities across the country, and even some middle and high schools. 

Not everyone is so keen on seeing Chicano studies expand. Among the program's most vocal critics is Arizona's attorney general, Tom Horne, who has called it a sort of "ethnic chauvinism." He has also claimed that the program is "an officially recognized, resentment-based program," even though the National Education Association has shown that such curriculum instead increases interracial understanding and significantly enhances students' interest in academic pursuits. 

07/14/2011 - 4:01pm

On June 21, 2011, just before heading on to the Delegate Assembly in Detroit, 1st V.P. Ann Hoffman and I met at the Executive Office Building in Washington, next door to the White House, with President Obama's lead advisor on intellectual property enforcement and policy issues.

This meeting was a follow-up to comments on writers' difficulties enforcing our rights that we submitted in 2010, shortly after the creation of the office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator: http://www.nwubook.org/NWU-ip-enforcement.pdf

The office of the IPEC doesn't carry out enforcement actions itself, but exists to coordinate the Administration's executive actions -- including copyright and other IP-related law enforcement -- and legislative recommendations such as those on future copyright "reforms": http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/intellectualproperty/

We received no response to our initial written submission, and writers' interests (especially vis-a-vis publishers and distributors) were not reflected in IPEC reports and strategic recommendations.

Accordingly, we requested a face-to-face meeting with the IPEC office. Somewhat to our surprise, we found the door wide open. (Not literally, of course -- admission to the building required not only an appointment and "screening" at the entrance to the White House compound but detailed submissions of personal information, in advance, to the Secret Service.)

We met for the better part of an hour with the head of the office, the "IP Enforcement Czar" herself, Ms. Victoria Espinel, along with four of her staff advisors she had invited to provide expertise on specific aspects of IP enforcement ranging from copyrights to international law. All had read our comments in preparation for the meeting, although they still seemed to be surprised when we began our presentation by identifying publishers and distributors as the most significant infringers of writers' copyrights.

06/03/2011 - 5:49pm

New York City June 1 - At a brief status conference this afternoon, Google, the Authors Guild and the American Association of Publishers asked
Judge Denny Chin for additional time to explore settlement possibilities. Judge Chin scheduled the next status conference for July 19.

There's more on the google Books hearing from Publishers Weekly:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/47490-no-progress-on-google-book-settlement-talks-tone-changing-.html

05/26/2011 - 11:08am

The Executive Committee of the Union of Cyprus Journalists is greatly concerned and expresses its abhorrence over incidents of violence against Turkish Cypriot journalists by the so-called “police” in the occupied part of Cyprus.

Following a second bomb attack against the car and the life of a Turkish Cypriot colleague and the shooting attack against the offices of a newspaper, an assault against journalists by “policemen” of the occupation regime comes to clearly confirm that freedom of the press is under undisguised persecution in the occupied part of Cyprus.

The latest incidents of violence against journalists came about when Turkish Cypriots colleagues, covering a protest march by employees of the so-called “Turkish Cypriot Airlines” made redundant by its closure, were beaten and had their cameras damaged by “policemen” trying to prevent them from carrying out their work.

The Union of Cyprus Journalists strongly deplores raw violence and stresses that it will report on the above mentioned actions against freedom of the press to all European and world journalists organizations.



The Executive Committee
of the Union of Cyprus Journalists

05/16/2011 - 5:19pm

When:  Sunday, May 29, 2011

What:  The first  "Net Needs News Day." 

Who:  Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Has invited members to simultaneously publish a cartoon about how the web is mostly useless without original reporting generated by newspapers.  (Note: Cartoonists are participating on their own.)  Society of Professional Journalists President  Hagit Limor will blog on this topic at www.spj.org.

Why:  Increase public's awareness and appreciation of journalism and its vital role to information on the worldwide web (95% of all original content online.)   

2nd reason: SPJ recently favorited a motion graphics video on the same topic for its new channel for journalists. ("The Fat Lady Has Not Sung: Why the Internet Needs the News" is also airing at Stanford University graduate classes) : http://www.youtube.com/user/spjournalists#p/a/f/0/PRdUTWn-Zvo     

Where:  As many newspapers as possible.

Contact:  Sharon Geltner, Froogle PR, geltner@netneedsnews.net.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/pages/The-Fat-Lady-Has-Not-Sung/168436819844750

05/06/2011 - 12:09pm

Situation of NWU member highlights benefit of Union Plus disaster help program

The case of At-large co-chair James Sandefur, whose family suffered losses in the recent tornadoes, highlights the benefits available to NWU members through Union Plus, a wide-ranging program for members of the UAW and AFL-CIO.

One program offers a $500 grant to any member suffering a documented financial loss as the result of a FEMA-certified natural disaster or emergency.  That program is available only to members who have participated for 12 months or more in the Union Plus credit card, mortgage or insurance program.

For more information on the disaster relief program, go to http://www.unionplus.org/money-credit/natural-disaster-relief-fund.

Remember too that Union Plus has a free prescription drug discount card for NWU members and their family members.  Go to unionplus.org and log in as a member of the UAW, then go to health benefits and download your cards.

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