NABET-CWA Welcomes New Staff Representative Ron Gabalski
by Jill Gallagher for the NABET News
NABET-CWA announced the hiring of Local 25 Steward Ronald Gabalski as the union’s new Staff Representative. Gabalski, a NABET-CWA member for 26 years, fills the vacancy left by Lou Fallot’s retirement in September.
“I am pleased that we had seven deeply passionate and dedicated applicants for this job vacancy,” said Sector President Charlie Braico. “While I wish we could have hired all seven of these fine people, NABET-CWA will be extremely well-served by Ron Gabalski for many years to come.”
Gabalski began his career in 1988 as a television news photographer for WKSN News in Jamestown, NY. From 1991-1994, he worked as a technician/photographer for WICU-TV in Erie, PA, and, finally, as a photojournalist/editor at WIVB-TV in Buffalo from 1994 to present.
Gabalski was first elected as Steward at WICU-TV in 1994. After moving to Buffalo, he became the Chief Steward at WIVB-TV in 2000. Over the past 17 years, he has participated in six contract negotiations at WIVB, including the historic lockout of half the bargaining unit in 1999 and, in 2005, when the union negotiated a five-year agreement. Currently, he is a member of the bargaining committee that is in contract talks with WIVB’s new owner, Nexstar Media, which he explained, “has exposed me to situations that required the use of seemingly every tool in the labor movement’s tool box.”
In addition to formal CWA and AFL-CIO training, Gabalski gained first-hand experience when he shadowed NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi during bargaining with WJET-TV in Erie and accompanied Seggi and Staff Representative Bill Murray during an organizing effort in Rochester, NY.
In his new job, Gabalski said he hopes “to use my years of ground-level experience and relevant specialized training as an activist and union leader in NABET-CWA to be an effective, full-time voice for our members and help guide those members on how to use their collective power.”