NEW YORK, NY – Both the national and local labor movement depend on news companies, often hostile to labor organizations, to tell stories about union activities and workers. Instead of relying on others, we need to build our own labor news networks in every city.
While many labor leaders complain about how the media portrays workers, there is little planning to develop or fund labor news networks. Unions spend hundred of millions every year for advertising with unfriendly print, radio and television. Millions are also spent with public relations firms trying to shape a labor message. There is nothing like controlling a message by owning a news company that provides quality daily news with a pro-labor point of view.
With the internet providing a vast distribution system – millions can receive an article – locally, nationally and around the world. Content is still king but social media has provided an effective platform for a small news network as well as giants as CNN, Boston Globe or Chicago Times. Unions, with thousands of members and followers, have a tremendous social media potential.
During the general strike of 1934 in Minneapolis, , there were weekly labor publications printed in eight languages. These publications gave readers daily examples of how folks much like themselves beat the odds and won victories in their workplaces. Today’s labor movement has no modern equivalent of the labor press of the 1930s.
Much of the labor movement no longer see a need to support labor news. This is unfortunate since a labor press tells the story of workers every day. When workers read about other workers that benefit from unions they gain a better understanding of the importance of labor organizations.
If the public was continually informed of the critical importance of unions through quality news networks, in several languages, than organized labor would be viewed in a much more positive light.
The message is simple but the delivery system needs improvement – When unions are strong worker salaries are higher and employee benefits better. There is a close link to unions and the future of the middle class in America.
LaborPress based in New York City is unique. LaborPress, a proud union company, tells the story of workers every day. A LaborPress is needed in every city in America.