> AFL-CIO staging online Labor Day
> Sunday, August 27, 2000
> By Karen MacPherson, [Pittsburgh] Post
> Gazette National Bureau [via Labornet]
> WASHINGTON -- The AFL-CIO is inviting Americans to have a "virtual" Labor
> From noon on Wednesday through Sept. 6, the labor organization is holding
> what they bill the "first-ever Online Labor Day Festival."
> The festival, headquartered at http://www.workingfamilies.com, will feature
> many of the typical Labor Day celebrations, done cyber-style. For example,
> there will be a virtual, animated parade, a "music tent" and a "speaker's
> In addition, there will be a voter registration booth, an online bazaar
> where visitors can buy union-made T-shifts and hats, a greeting card booth
> where they can send Labor Day cards to friends, and even a games arcade,
> where visitors are invited to "smash corporate greed," play "find the
> health insurance," and compare their pay to the CEOs of top companies.
> "This festival is a good example of how unions are using the Internet and
> creating an 'on ramp' to the informational super-highway," said Lane
> Windham, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO.
> "It's open to everybody," she said, adding that the AFL-CIO hopes it will
> serve as a "gateway" for newcomers to learn more about organized labor.
> The online festival is just the latest effort by AFL-CIO officials to
> attract more members by updating the image of their 13 million member
> group. Indications are that the strategy is working: last year, union
> membership jumped by 265,000, the biggest rise by far since the 1970's,
> according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
> Still, the BLS figures show that organized labor only represents about 13.9
> percent of the U.S. work force, compared to 35 percent in the 1950's.
> The Internet can be a key tool in getting out the word about organized
> labor to both members and
> non-members, they added. For example, the AFL-CIO has seen a three-fold
> increase in users on its
> main Web site, www.aflcio.org, to about 300,000 "hits" a month, Windham said.
> Last year, there were four million "hits" on the site, she added.
> The "Online Labor Day Festival" will be hosted on the AFL-CIO's
> "workingfamilies.com" site, an Internet community through which union
> members get special resources, plus discounted Internet service and
> Those who attend the online festival can install free software needed to
> receive all the audio, video and animation "bells and whistles" by clicking
> on an icon that reads "install plug-ins."
> After that, it's up to the browser to determine what part of the festival
> to attend, Windham said.