Labor's Voice for Change (38) May 26, 2009

A New Web Site to Inform Union Members,
Protect Their Rights and Invite Their Views

By Harry Kelber

Our new web site will feature a forum where members from different unions can exchange views about what’s best for the labor movement and America’s working families. We believe the opinions of our members are important as part of their involvement in union affairs. Make note of the site:

Through two analytical columns a week, plus special bulletins on breaking news, we will keep union members informed about what’s going on in Washington, Wall Street and Main Street in terms of the Treasury bailouts and the stimulus package. We will spotlight what is happening to the millions of workers who have been laid off, and their prospects for jobs under the $787 billion stimulus package. And of course, we’ll bring you up-to-date news about the labor movement.

In our weekly column, “The World of Labor,” you’ll get a clear picture of how unions and workers around the globe are coping with many of the same issues that confront us: the right to join unions, concessions on wages, inferior working conditions, poor benefits, inadequate health and safety laws, privatization and discrimination. You’ll learn about the activities of the new worldwide unions and some of their successes. In our global economy, we can help unions in other countries, and they can help us.

You’ll want to read “Declaration of Worker Rights.” The Preamble states: “To ensure that the rights of union members will be respected and adhered to, and that they will have a voice in determining the policies and practices of their organizations,” You’ll want to read the seven listed principles, and you’re welcome to add one or two of your own, which we will print.

We offer valuable instruction on “Preparing for the AFL-CIO Convention.” We list and discuss the procedures and deadlines that unions must conform to in order to have their delegates seated at the quadrennial AFL-CIO convention on September 14-17 in Pittsburgh. We will be providing news and analysis of the national election of officers that will take place at the convention.

Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, is, in our opinion, the most outstanding labor leader in the United States. In his speeches and interviews in recent months, he more than any other union officer, has spoken out forcefully and convincingly in behalf of the auto workers and the millions of workers who have been laid off and those who have lost their homes.

We have endorsed Gerard as our candidate for president of the AFL-CIO in the election that will take place at the September convention. Read our article about his labor record and some of his achievements. And listen to him speak on three live videos.

We welcome the views of union bloggers, especially if they are kept short, sassy and humorous.

Be sure to visit

Article 39 of “Labor’s Voice for Change” will be posted Thursday, May 28.