WGA East taps labor veteran

Ursula Lawrence named lead organizer of guild

Touting beefed-up organizing efforts, the WGA East has hired labor veteran Ursula Lawrence as its lead strategic organizer.

The guild, which made the announcement Monday, noted that Lawrence has worked for the past years in organizing, including stints with the SEIU and as a field representative and internal organizer at the Directors Guild of America.

WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson noted that the 4,000-member guild has ramped up its efforts over the past year, including hiring Justin Molito in September 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,” Peterson said.

He noted the WGA East has signed 13 cable deals, including shows on Comedy Central, VH1, Here, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, ESPN, MTV 2, Ion and the History Channel, plus deals for three made-for-new-media programs, seven low-budget feature films and five foreign-produced projects. The WGA East has four staffers and is also assisted by guild business agents.

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