Rebecca Rosen Lum, the chair of the Guild Freelance Unit, told TheDC that her division of the national association does not formally enter into negotiations with companies, but is nonetheless assisting with the strike.
“A freelance unit cannot play the role of a traditional union, sitting down to negotiate with a common employer,” Lum wrote in an e-mail to TheDC. “Rather, we promote the value of journalism and advocate for journalists in the marketplace, the legislature, and the public mind.”
Lum added, “We offer our unconditional support to the striking Huffington Post writers.” She also identified a common theme of commentary on the strike: that politically-progressive Arianna Huffington is exhibiting hypocrisy.
“[Huffington] has been a strong and articulate voice against conservative policies that have helped deal a death blow to the middle class,” wrote Lum, “So what gives?”
“If she argues that The Huffington Post gave writers a platform, we would argue that they drew considerable traffic to a previously unknown site,” wrote Lum. “She benefited enormously from their contributions.”
The strike is intended to achieve a system of payment for contributors and for the site to segregate paid promotional content. Huffington, who sold The Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million this year, said at a conference on March 3, “Go ahead, go on strike” and speculated that nobody would notice.