Webtrax Team Member Estelle Carol Wins Union Graphics Contest


Our very own Estelle Carol entered and won the Union Communication Services (UCS) graphics contest with her poster “Unions Make a World of Difference.” Her partner Bob Simpson helped her develop the concept. Estelle was awarded $500 and a nice mention on the AFL-CIO web site.

“Estelle’s striking graphic [at left] does a wonderful job of reminding people why unions are still needed and relevant in the 21st century,” UCS publisher David Prosten says.

You can now buy this award-winning poster. The full-color, 13” x 19” poster (union-printed on union-made paper, of course) is suitable for framing .  It is available for $15 through the UCS Labor Books Bookstore page at www.unionist.com.

The NLRB Issues New Guidelines on Workplace Rights and the New Social Media


In 16th century Europe, the printing press was the new social media of its day. Emboldened by its power, it became a tool of both social reformers and social conservatives alike. It also annoyed authorities to no end. People were sent to dank dungeons, tortured , or even executed for distributing printed tracts that met with official disapproval.

Today Facebook updates and tweets can get you in the same kind of trouble if you live in a dictatorship. Here in the USA, even with your democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution, your social media activity can get you into trouble. You won’t land behind bars, but you could land on the unemployment line, pink slip in hand. Yes, people have been fired from their jobs for their Facebook statuses, tweets, blog posts and forum postings.

However, under US labor law employees are afforded certain rights if they are organizing together to improve wages and working conditions. So in August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a report giving its first indication of how US labor law applies to social media. The NLRB is the governmental body charged with conducting union elections and investigating unfair labor practices.

You may read the full report here. The American Express OPEN Forum has an excellent summary along with useful links here.

From Twitter to Network TV: How “Amaya’s Awesome List” of union jobs earned a spot on Fox News

A nice example of how social media can leverage attention on broadcast TV, with its much larger audience:

The story starts yesterday in Texas, where Dell, Inc. held its annual meeting. CEO Michael Dell was set to be crowned for another term as chairman of the company he founded – although he took home over $450 million in 2008 and 2009, even as shareholders saw the value of their holdings drop by 66%.

The AFL-CIO, which takes a dim view of outsized executive compensation, urged company shareholders not to re-elect Dell to the board of his own company. This earned AFL-CIO Deputy Director of Investments Brandon Reese an interview slot on Varney and Company, the Fox Network’s morning business show.

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