Labor's Dead Tree... Is Dead
Yeah, the paper misspells its headline in its last issue. But let’s not get distracted from the fact that this is a big deal.
This is a major milestone in the long slow, inexorable decline of labor here.
The Milwaukee Labor Press newspaper, which for 73 years served as "the voice of Milwaukee labor," has printed its final edition.
"As we put this paper to bed, our readers should understand that this isn't the death of the voice of organized labor," wrote Sheila Cochran, the chief operating officer of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, which published the paper.
Consider that at its peak, The Milwaukee Labor Press had 150,000 "subscribers." At its demise, it was sending out less than a third as many copies. And few of those were subscribers in the usual sense. As the story makes clear, the paper – a reliably turgid vehicle of unionist propaganda – was subsidized by the unions and its demise was yet another symptom of their decline.
It is also a sign that Act 10 continues to work:
What the story doesn’t mention is that the loss of union membership is a result of workers finally being given a choice whether they want to join the union. When union membership was mandatory, the unions count on a steady flow of dues money they could use to prop up the paper.
Now that those workers are free to choose, they are apparently choosing in big numbers to spend their money elsewhere.