Just got this press release via email. Pass it on! -M


April 12, 1999

Dear Fellow Photographers,

The NAFP is now a UNION! We are pleased to announce that after a year of hard work the NAFP has reorganized as a National Local of The Newspaper Guild (TNG), Communication Workers of America (CWA). We have established a guild built by photographers for photographers and, more importantly, run by photographers.

This is a very significant step in our effort to preserve the rights of independent photographers, and to have our voices heard throughout our industry. With the strength of TNG and CWA behind us, we are working more effectively to preserve our industry, thus securing our place within it.

Annual membership dues in the NAFP, (Local 31-500 f/8), will be $150, payable in advance by check or by credit card (monthly installments available with credit card option). NAFP members will be entitled to such benefits, as health and life insurance (group rates apply, in addition to dues). We are also working to establish business insurance programs. And, although we will not have collective bargaining status -- something we will continue to work toward -- we will have an immediate impact our industry.

As an active branch of the Guild, we are working with its other locals to promote positive change for all photographers. Our concerns as freelancers are now the concerns of all Guild members and, as a united force we are working to ensure positive changes for all.

* First, we are working with existing locals of The Newspaper Guild, which represents newspapers, wire services and other publishers. We will battle the multitude of all-rights contracts, which threaten both independent and staff photographers alike. We will bring pressure to bear on publishers to produce fair and equitable contracts.

* Also, by raising the awareness of these locals, we are working to ensure our concerns are addressed when contracts are negotiated on behalf of their employee-members. By doing so, our collective interests will finally be addressed on a par with those of the staff employees.

* The NAFP is working to affect positive change in other ways. Through our Education Committee, we are working to establish educational programs as part of the curricula of journalism and photography schools throughout the country. We are working to teach proper business and legal practices to our peers, and to those who will enter our ranks. Our goal is to ensure that everyone who enters our profession is aware of their rights at the start of their careers.

* The NAFP is working, through our Legislative Committee, to review the laws that affect our industry, and to lobby for necessary changes benefiting all photographers.

* The NAFP is working with the AFL-CIO to petition the Federal Trade Commission to lift the ban on independent contractors from achieving collective bargaining status. This will allow us to effectively reverse the stagnation of rates -- from which we have all suffered -- as pay rates have remained unchanged while inflation (and advertising rates) has skyrocketed over the past several decades.

* We will also work to form close alliances with existing fraternal and trade groups representing photographers. By working together, we can unite our efforts and voices to our common cause.

There is still much work ahead. But today, we are taking one important step to gaining some control over our industry, and our place within it. We invite you to join us. Please take the time to visit the NAFP's new website located at:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Paul Hurschmann Kevin Larkin President Executive Organizing Officer

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-- Paul Hurschmann President NAFP

-- Mason Resnick (, April 13, 1999

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