Labor’s PR problems mount, despite images of union solidarity in Wisconsin

The story is beginning to flip for union members and protesters as the media reports on school closings and a lack of government service.

When is the last time you saw a positive story about union activities? There haven’t been many. Instead, most traditional media coverage centers on the tens of millions of dollars unions pour into political campaigns. Whether it’s auto workers or public employees, the picture is always of unions on the defensive.

Even the Wisconsin images of union solidarity in the face of Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to change collective bargaining agreements have taken their toll. Newspapers across Wisconsin are reporting that protesting teachers flooding the state’s capitol have shut down classes in some school districts, forcing parents to scramble to find babysitters for their children.

“In an era where the public is all too ready to blame state employees for what they perceive as feeding at the public trough—while those in the private sector are left to suffer the ravages of a deep recession—the union PR machine has been anything but effective,” writes Rick Unger in Forbes.

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