The South Is Organizing — and There’s No One to Cover It

Source: Mike Elk, Pacific Standard, September 5, 2016

Workers are less scared of organizing when the press is covering them. The solution? More labor reporters in the South. ….

….Southern workers are also facing a rapidly expanding economy — in part from a growing technology and auto industry — even as many citizens know that they aren’t getting a piece of the pie. Just as attitudes about race are changing in the South, attitudes about organized labor are changing just as rapidly.

Based on an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the fastest-growing region in the United States for union membership is the South, where nearly 150,000 workers opted to join unions last year — bringing the total number of union members in the South to nearly three million. Five of the top 10 fastest-growing states for union membership in 2015 were all in the South.

If those number surprise you, that might be because there is not a single full-time labor reporter anywhere in the South….

….If unionization in digital media has proved one thing, it is that coverage of workers unionizing leads to even more organizing….