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Welcome To WNYLaborToday.com

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A few weeks back, I sat down with a potential advertiser for WNYLaborToday.com. After taking a look at our new redesign, he remarked: “Isn’t this too good for Organized Labor?”

I leaned backed in my chair, smiled and answered: “No,  it’s not – because more and more Union Members across Western New York are using the Internet to get information and news.”

Just a couple of days later I ran into a member of Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282 at a local restaurant, who said he “saw me” earlier in the day. Not recalling running into him, I asked, “Where?” “On the Internet,” he replied. “I got a text message from my Union telling me to check out WNYLaborToday-dot-com.”

It would seem that Organized Labor and its members are indeed plugging into the World Wide Web, and taking full advantage of all it has to offer – including WNYLaborToday.com.

So it is appropriate that on this Labor Day Weekend in September 2009, I welcome you to the new and improved, upgraded and expanded WNYLaborToday.com, Western New York’s Regional Labor News Web Site that is currently supported by nearly 30 Labor Organizations and Unions that combine to represent a little less than 120,000 members.

WNYLaborToday.com has published more than 500 news stories on Organized Labor since first introducing ourselves to the Western New York Labor Community in April 2008 - including a variety of positive stories that you just can’t find anywhere else in the mainstream and local media. In fact, I believe anyone would be hard-pressed to find the equivalent amount of local, state and national Labor News that WNYLaborToday.com has published anywhere else over the course of that time.

In short, WNYLaborToday.com has come a long way in a very short period of time since we officially launched our on-line Labor Newspaper in what is described as the #1 Union Community in the United States, ranked by density, with just under 150,000 members across a six-county Western New York area.

Since then, WNYLaborToday.com has grown into and remains the place where Unions and their members can go to get the latest in news that involves Organized Labor, individual Labor Unions and the Working Men and Women they represent from across our region - from Niagara Falls to Buffalo to the Southern Tier.

Looking back over just a little less than 17 months, WNYLaborToday.com believes we’ve delivered on our initial promise of bringing our viewers and readers an array of local and regional Labor News on a consistent and weekly basis, as well as educating those who continue to visit our site to the role that Labor Unions and their members are playing to help turn around and strengthen the Western New York economy.

Again, WNYLaborToday.com’s message has always been a simple one: this is what Organized Labor is, this is who Labor Unions represent, this is how Labor Unions make the lives of their members better, and this is what Labor Unions are doing to better Western New York.

WNYLaborToday.com hopes you continue to take the time to visit us and learn what Western New York Labor Organizations and Unions are really doing from a positive standpoint here in our region.  We think you'll not only be surprised, but it just may begin to change many a mind on what Unions and their members bring to the table, and what's being done behind-the-scenes to bring about real change here in Western New York.

On another front, our viewers/readers will undoubtedly notice a very different look and a number of big changes on WNYLaborToday.com as our Regional Labor News Web Site proudly shows off our new and improved redesign on this Labor Day Weekend.

As you can see, WNYLaborToday.com now offers much more in terms of local, regional, state and national Labor news, as well as live Labor News feeds from across the U.S., national Labor News radio reports and locally-produced 30, 60 and 90-second Labor news video reports, which appear in one of the four, individual video cubes that are now located on our Home Page.

In fact, the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and the Niagara-Orleans Central Labor Council each have their own news sections on our new Home Page, while the Dunkirk, Jamestown and Cattaraugus-Allegany Central Labor Councils have been all grouped together under Southern Tier Councils. This will afford Union Members the opportunity to not only find out what’s going on within their own “home” area, but in every corner of the Western New York Labor Community. Each Council Landing Page features the Union logo of each of our supporting Unions within those Labor Councils, and you can click on to their Union Logos to be directly transferred to their individual web sites.

A State/National Labor News section is also offered, where live Labor News feeds from across the country can be accessed for additional information. WNYLaborToday.com will also continue to publish national Labor news that we receive from local Unions and Labor Organizations. We also plan to add in the coming months a video cube in this section that features New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes’ award-winning cable television program, Working New York, which will provide our viewers with interviews and comment with a variety of major Labor Leaders from across the Empire State. By the way, Working New York was just awarded first place for the best Labor Cable Television Program in the United States by the International Labor Communicators Association. Congratulations President Hughes!

If you’d like to stay on top of what’s going on in the Western New York Labor Community, you can receive e-news headlines from WNYLaborToday.com. Just take a moment to scroll back up to the top of the Home Page. In the upper right-hand corner there’s a brief form to provide us with your name and e-mail address. Once you do so, you’ll begin getting periodic news headlines from WNYLaborToday.com during the week.

You’ll also notice our two newest sections on WNYLaborToday.com’s new Home Page: Young Unionists and Union Retirees.

The Young Unionists section will cater to Union Members 40 years of age and under who want to involve themselves more prominently in their Unions and the local Labor Movement. This effort is part of an overall New York State AFL-CIO program and is spearheaded locally by Courtney Brunelle of the CSEA (Civil Service Employees Association) and Michelle Pancoe of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), who will be involved in providing WNYLaborToday.com an array of information that will be helpful to the under-40, Labor crowd.

The Union Retiree section, meanwhile, will offer information and news to a special segment of our Labor Community. With more than 500,000 retired Unionists across New York State, WNYLaborToday.com thought it extremely important to provide Union retirees with an area on our site that would provide a host of beneficial information just for them. As such, WNYLaborToday.com will be working with the local chapter of the Erie-Niagara Alliance of Retired Americans and its president, Robert “Bob” McCleery - a retired member of United Auto Workers Local 774, as well as with Steve Muscarella, who serves as president of the retired state Public Employees Federation Retirees organization.

You’ll also notice an Editorial Page and a Photo Page on our redesigned site. Our readers are welcome to submit Guest Columns and Letters to the Editor at WNYLaborToday.com. Please visit the Editorial Page to review our guidelines for submission. Our WNYLaborToday.com Photo Page will accept e-mailed jpg photos for publication in this section from local Labor Unions & Organizations. Please e-mail your photos individually, with a one-paragraph written description for each, to campbell@localnet.com, as well as your Guest Columns (which should be no longer than 16 paragraphs) and Letters to the Editor at WNYLaborToday.com.

Further down our Home Page, WNYLaborToday.com has also added a live Labor Discussion Board that will post a weekly question to our viewers/readers for your personal opinions, thoughts and feedback. As with our Editorial Page, there are certain guidelines and rules that WNYLaborToday.com is asking our readers to adhere to. With that said, please visit the Labor Discussion Page to review them. However, WNYLaborToday.com also asks our readers to refrain from using any inappropriate language when sending in your answers and feedback.  We ask you to take the high road when responding to what you read on our Labor Discussion Board and refrain from making any off-the-wall, unfounded or obscene remarks. They will not be tolerated and those that contain such will not be published.  Remember, here you have the opportunity to make constructive and valued points by using some common sense in a professional manner.  We thank you advance for following these guidelines.

In terms of providing our visitors/readers with Labor News radio reports from across the Nation, you’ll also find a live link on our Home Page to the Workers Independent News Network. We hope you take advantage of this service as WNYLaborToday.com works to further inform our readers and visitors.

On yet another front, we’re unveiling the beginnings of The Union Mall – an on-line marketplace of Union-made, American-made and Locally-made products, as well as offered services from a number of Union-friendly businesses. On this day of supporting American workers and U.S.-manufactured products, many find it hard to because it has become extremely hard to find a listing of such products and services. For example, when you search your Yellow Pages for a residential electrical, plumbing or heating/cooling contractor, it doesn’t let you know who is or who is not Union-represented. That changes with the creation of The Union Mall. Now on WNYLaborToday.com, there’s a place to locate what you want – from A to Z. And many local businesses are already excited about the prospect of making the nearly 120,000 Union Members who are represented by our supporting Labor Organizations aware of who they are and what they offer, including a group of brand new advertisers - Independent Health, AT&T Mobility and the EMS Group/Stahlka Insurance – who’ve joined American Images, Delft Printing and Campbell & Associates Public Relations on our site. Keep checking back over the course of the next several months as we continue to add more Union-Friendly advertisers who offer a wide variety of Union/American/Locally-made products and services. We also ask that you patronize these businesses and their products/services in order to support the cause of Union/American/Locally-made products and Union-friendly companies.

As we had offered on our initial web site, you’ll also find a Labor Links Section on WNYLaborToday.com’s Home Page, which also contains links to a number of other Labor-oriented and helpful web sites. In addition, we’ve also built a WNYLaborToday.com News Achieves Section, where you can go back in time and view the many stories, features, editorial, columns, letters to the editor and announcements that our site has published since our initial April 2008 launch.

Moving on, a special section for the Western New York Elected Community/Labor-Endorsed Candidates and Officials is also featured on our Home Page. Here, WNYLaborToday.com will publish endorsements from Western New York’s many Labor Unions and Organizations, as well as feature those Town and Village, City, County, State and Federally-Elected Representatives and Candidates who’ve come aboard to support our growing Regional Labor News Web Site. This will serve as a great reference tool for all Labor Unions and their members across Western New York to instantly find out whom Organized Labor is supporting in not only the primaries, but in the General Election.

It’s also been the goal of WNYLaborToday.com to spread Labor’s message into the elected and business communities, as well as to the general public, of the worth of working with Organized Labor in order to turn our region around, and what can be realized if all join and work together.

To further accomplish that goal, WNYLaborToday.com will be embarking on a major print advertising campaign across Western New York over the next several months in order to expand our scope of readers. Our viewers/readers will begin seeing a weekly ad appear in each major daily newspaper across Western New York over the course of time in order to make even more people aware of our Labor News web site. WNYLaborToday.com is confident this effort will work to attract more viewers to our site and spread the message even further across our region.

Looking back, there's not been a great amount of opportunity over the years for Organized Labor to get its side of the story out here in Western New York. But that changed with the launching of WNYLaborToday.com in April 2008. As such, WNYLaborToday.com continues to look forward to working with Organized Labor across our region to not only provide a positive counterpoint to the current negativity regarding Labor Unions and their members, but work to make a real difference as we all continue to strive to make our region the best it can be now and in the years to come.

Finally, we're interested to learn what our viewers/readers think and what you have to say.  So take the time and let us know.  All we ask is that you take the time to read Organized Labor's side of the story and then take a moment to think about the overall issues and ramifications before sounding off.  Remember, we're all in this together.  Not one faction will turn our region around and not one faction has all the answers.  We all need to get both sides of the story before weighing in with our thoughts and making a final decision.

As I said, WNYLaborToday.com has come a far way in a short period of time and we look forward to continuing to grow as Western New York’s Source for Regional Labor News.

And we’re not done yet.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come.

And remember, let us know what you think.

You can contact WNYLaborToday.com directly through e-mail at campbell@localnet.com .

By the way, have a great Labor Day Weekend.

In Solidarity,

Tom Campbell
Publisher/Editor
WNYLaborToday.com