In The News
New online services offered by labor council
By Dominique Paul Noth
Editor, Labor Press
Posted April 26, 2012
Fresh news stories appear between editions of the printed Labor Press at milwaukeelabor.org, as thousands of online readers have come to realize. Data logs also reveal how hundreds of weekly visitors use the comprehensive events calendar and the searchable archives of past news stories and editions (back to 2007 on a one-month delay). Now Twitter and Facebook are busy parts of the site.
But the Internet is a demanding taskmaster, a universe constantly changing and requiring even more services and a constant tweaking of design and offerings.
A major new service has now arrived.
Now anyone, not just union members of the labor council, can receive home delivery of a year’s worth of monthly Labor Press, for only $13, using secure online registration of credit cards or PayPal to provide the latest edition in a timely front-door fashion. And that’s quite fitting since the newspaper no longer reports just union activities and inside dealings but the full range of political and working family issues.
Of late it has broken news stories on the John Doe probe, on who is running for office, on candidate forums, on issues of job training, economic reports, hijacking mortgage payments and education policies both K-12 and higher education --- sometimes stories and commentary not provided elsewhere.
Labor Press breaks before most media gets the “Who Is Not Paying State Income Tax” reports of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, which has a special arrangement with the Labor Press. Its reports on the political foment in the state have been picked up by national news syndicates. It produced a special ACTON! paper for hand delivery on the streets timed to recent Wisconsin events such as recall elections and Voter ID. It was among the first Wisconsin papers to explore the issues surrounding ALEC and the Madison bill affecting felons. Recent stories have explored “holes” in recent news coverage of the recall elections.
Visitors to the website also have a separate button to contribute to the charitable and other efforts of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, which yearly holds a Health and Hygiene Drive for homeless shelters, provides a picnic at St. Ben’s for the homeless and out of work, raises money for charitable and working family causes and engages in other activities, including a lavish annual fund-raiser to be held this year at the Hilton ballroom on June 2.
Prominently online -- underneath revolving images of Wisconsin workers and the famous “Stand With Wisconsin” banner – the special buttons allow visitors to subscribe to home delivery of a year’s worth of the monthly Labor Press for $13 or, using an adjacent button, to donate to the labor council.
The connection is to major credit cards or Pay Pal (an existing account or a one-step method to create an account).
The website takes visitors inside the Milwaukee Area Labor Council with lists and contacts of its affiliates, information on its leaders and executive councils and messages from its chief operating officer, Sheila Cochran. It has special links to services it is involved in, such as the HIRE Center for dislocated workers, regularly topping inquiries the HIRE receives through search engines.
Recently, milwaukeelabor.org was named the best website by the International Labor Communications Association, the extensive and most prestigious contest for North American labor organizations.