Guild's Keenan Award goes to Hudson News Chair Kazi Islam


Hudson News Unit Chair Kazi Islam, who has worked tirelessly to build a cohesive community among  the retail and fast food workers of his sprawling Manhattan bargaining unit, is the New York Guild’s winner of the Guild’s 2015 Keenan Award.

The award will be presented at a meeting open to all Guild members on Monday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. The Guild’s semi-annual membership meeting also will feature reports from Local Chair Karen Rohan, President Bill O’Meara and Secretary-Treasurer Peter Szekely. Light refreshments will be served.

Islam (pictured), whose nomination was signed by more than 200 – nearly two-thirds – of his co-workers, has served as the unit chair since 2014 and participated in negotiations that produced a contract early that year. With Hudson News morphing its business model from newspapers, magazines and convenience items to higher-end products and to Dunkin’ Donuts outlets at its Manhattan travel-hub stores, Islam has been working to make sure that the Guild remains a key part of the workplace and that members feel a sense of belonging to it. The Guild’s Dunkin’ Donuts members at Penn Station, and soon to come at Port Authority Bus Terminal, are among the very few New York fast food workers to have a union.

In assessing the nominees for the Thomas M. Keenan NewsGuild of New York Service Award, the Guild’s Administrative Committee, which is charged with selecting a winner, looks for someone who “has performed above and beyond the call of duty in service to the New York Local, and best exemplifies the ideals of a true labor leader, in the spirit of Tom Keenan.”

Tom Keenan, a longtime activist, chaired The Times unit for 14 years, longer than anyone else, before joining the Guild staff as a representative in 1998. The award bearing his name was established in 1999, after Keenan was stricken with cancer. He died in December 2000.

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