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Guild mourns sudden passing of Dan Zeidler, longtime activist and staffer

Guild leaders and employees are shocked and saddened following the sudden passing yesterday of our friend and colleague Dan Zeidler, who was only 56.

Dan grew up in Toronto and started working at CBC as a teenager in 1968 doing summer relief, becoming staff in National Television News in 1971. He was among the group of 12 Guild members who were locked out in 1972 for supporting their striking NABET brothers and sisters. This group became known as the Dirty Dozen.

“Dan was ‘Union’ from the first year that he joined,” says Arnold Amber, who was also a member of the Dirty Dozen group and is now Director of CWA/SCA Canada. “He went on from the NABET strike and worked for the union for the rest of his life.”

Dan left Toronto in the mid-1970s to work in Thunder Bay, moved to Edmonton as Senior Editor, and then to Vancouver. He took a leave from the CBC in 1989 to join The Newspaper Guild’s International staff and later moved to CWA/SCA Canada and was based in Winnipeg, where he worked until his death.

“Danny was probably the gentlest, kindest person I have ever known,” says close friend Dan Oldfield, senior staff representative at the CMG. “He could be tough but was always fair. He was a loyal friend to me personally and to the Guild family. I will miss his quiet wisdom, his constant kindness and his remarkable sense of humour.”

Dan was always active in the Guild, serving on local and national executives. He was a member of several negotiating committees and took part in many organizing drives. Most recently, he was assisting CMG in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, primarily working with Guild leaders at APTN and CBC.

“Dan will be missed for his commitment to the members at APTN and, of course, his many years of service to the union,” says Allan McKay, president of the APTN branch of the Guild. “I personally will miss his camaraderie and friendship. When I needed a trusted confidant, he was always there.”

“I got to know Dan only two years ago, when I took on the task of leading our location as president,” says Joe Dudych, CMG location president at CBC in Winnipeg. “I knew very little about the job. Dan became my mentor, confidant, cheerleader and friend. I introduced him at last year’s Winnipeg AGM as number one on my speed dial. To say he was generous with his time would be an understatement.”

“I will miss his quiet calm in meetings, and his dry sense of humour that managed to put everyone at ease around him,” adds Joe. “His passing means that there is one good guy less in the world. We are all poorer for it.”

Dan leaves his wife, Hortense, and sisters Hedy Kusch and Susan Paulozza. The funeral will take place on Saturday November 3 at 2 pm at the Thomson “in the park” Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Blvd, Winnipeg. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Winnipeg Humane Society or to a charity of your choice.

To share your messages of condolence and your memories of Dan, please write to Deborah Richmond at drichmond@cwa-scacanada.ca . Messages will be posted on the CWA/SCA Canada website.

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