March 7, 2006
Blogging and Psychological Warfare on the Picket Line
Update: Michael Fitzgibbon of Thoughts from a Management Lawyer tells us that a strike blog has been utilized in a similar fashion during the CBC strike in Canada and in that situation, the bloggers were controversially asked to remove certain "anti-management material" as part of the back-to-work protocol. They refused.
Here's an interesting story about how striking Sikorsky Aircraft workers in Connecticut are using a blog at the Connecticut Post to not only stay in touch with their fellow strikers to maintain solidarity, but also as a tool to convince the larger public of the rightness of their cause.
And they are not the only ones using the blog. Management and their allies are equally seeking to use the blog to explain its side of the story in the labor dispute.
Yet, this labor-management battle on the blog is also taking place on a new level. In short, both sides are trying to psych the other side out as far as whether the strike is actually achieiving its goals. Rather than relying on newspapers, the union and the company are seeking to mold perceptions among strikers and company officials on a real-time basis through use of the blog.
And with over 80,000 individuals already having visited the Sikorsky strike blog, there is every reason to believe that the very outcome of the strike might turn on who is more successful in molding perceptions about whether the strike is succeeding or doomed to failure.
It thus appears that another new frontier has opened up in the ongoing economic battle between management and labor as a result of the blogging revolution.
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