Did you know that freelancers and authors have a union?

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Yes, it’s true. For decades, a nationwide union chapter, UAW Local 1981, has existed under its alternate name of the National Writers Union or NWU. This union fights for free speech, net neutrality, fair contracts between freelance writers and publishers, and other issues of interest to writers of all kinds. They also provide contract negotiation or drafting assistance and an optional health plan. The Twin Cities has had a local branch of the chapter, but it has been semi-dormant in recent years.

An NWU member named Robbie Orr is seeking to revive the branch by holding a meetup on October 16th, at Gandhi Mahal restaurant community room, at 6:30 pm. This is open to anyone who considers themselves a writer, although just like DSA, you have to pay dues to get a vote. Orr has reached out to our chapter in case any writers among us may be interested in this unique grassroots union organizing opportunity, or just want to explore it, network with other writers, and have some delicious, locally-sourced Indian food at the same time.

– Deb K.R.

The Minnesota Chapter of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981 is rising from the ashes of the old. Writers Unite! You have nothing to lose but your pains and eye strains.

Writing can be a solitary profession, and these are solemn times. The antidote to solemn is to socialize and have fun. The opposite of solitary is solidarity. Come with and party. Share stories and tips with other writers. Debate how collective action can break through attempts to muzzle the press, intimidate free speech and restrict democracy. Dream big. Maybe we can plan a General Strike of Poets that will bring the System to its knees.

More seriously, we will have a short update on the General Motors strike by our union sisters and brothers. And next steps for writers in the Minnesota area.

The NWU will buy starters. BYOD2 (Bring Your Own Device and Buy Your Own Drinks).

It will be Weds. October 16th, 6.30-8.30 pm at Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, Social Room (http://gandhimahal.com/). 3009 27th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Robbie Orr

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