OLD Media Moves

Biz media provide clues for union

September 30, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Jonathan Cutler, a sociology professor at Wesleyan University and an expert on unions, writes on his blog that the business media coverage of the recent settlement between the United Auto Workers and General Motors shows that the union probably got a bad deal.

General MotorsCutler wrote, “Is the business press an ‘objective’ source on labor relations?  No.

“It is unabashedly and transparently pro-business.  But that transparent bias is precisely what makes it potentially more interesting and more reliable than mainstream media accounts.  Business press bias means that union victories are often disparaged while union defeats are celebrated.

“To read ‘against the grain’ of business press bias requires only that one reverse the terms: expressions of fear, disappointment, and rage in the pages of the business press are best interpreted as signs union strength.  Expressions of euphoria and/or indifference in the business press can signal union weakness and a raw deal for workers.

“So, what is the business press saying about the UAW-GM deal?  Are the signs of fear and trembling at a labor movement is willing to stand up for the members, stand up for the retirees and take some risks?


Read more here.

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