Submitted by California School Employees Association, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, The Newspaper Guild-CWA, United Mine Workers of America and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy,Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union
Referred to the Legislation and Policy Committee
CommuniCation is an essential element of all labor movement work. Whether unions are organizing new members, mobilizing current members, educating the public on labor issues, advocating for legislation or electing worker friendly candidates, communicating effectively is vital to our success.
Labor’s internal polls repeatedly demonstrate how well labor publications strengthen members’ ties to their union’s causes. The polling demonstrates how regular, reliable communication influences members’ votes and actions. The International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) provides key support for the day-in, day-out activities that generate this impact and these results.
As it has done since it was founded at the historic convention when the AFL and the CIO merged in 1955, ILCA continues to provide, guide and publicize effective communication practices in the labor movement. ILCA helps synthesize strategies and messaging in communications, education and organizing for the maximum benefit of the entire labor movement. Further, ILCA and its members bring a unique perspective to media by giving priority to the causes of workers and their unions.
ILCA provides practical resources to its member publications and editors, and helps them share content and ideas among themselves to amplify the voices and points of view of labor. It is leading the way in how to use new media for labor campaigns. In recent years, ILCA has pioneered innovative projects such as Labor Media Centers, in which labor journalists pool resources, capture compelling stories about workers and their issues, and then use the latest technologies to bring these truths to the attention of the general public.
ILCA also serves as a professional association to connect labor communicators from coast to coast, whether they be staff at the largest internationals or rank-and-file volunteers in the smallest locals. ILCA provides expert and experienced labor communicators to help elevate the skills of labor journalists, and to help unions train members, officers and staff in effective communications work. Through its annual labor media contest, biennial conventions, conferences and weekly electronic newsletter, ILCA recognizes and disseminates best practices from which the entire labor movement can learn and benefit.
The AFL-CIO values this central role that labor communicators play, and urges its international and local affiliates, as well as its state, regional and central bodies, to become members of ILCA, and to become active in its work, so that unions will continue to improve their communications efforts on behalf of working people and the labor movement.