Groundbreaking Minnesota labor website enters new era

MINNEAPOLIS–Workday Minnesota, the groundbreaking labor news website launched 17 years ago, will enter a new era with the departure of founding editor Barb Kucera.

Kucera, a veteran labor journalist, joined the staff of the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota to develop and implement Workday, unveiled at the 2000 Minnesota AFL-CIO Convention. The federation and its unions provided the funding to start the project.

“Our goal from the beginning was to provide a place for workers’ voices to be heard through what was then a still fairly new technology,” Kucera said. “And that need still exists. Despite the avalanche of information available through the Internet, workers’ stories are still scarce. So are news and resources that support worker rights.”

In the ensuing years, drawing on the experienced Labor Education Service telecommunications staff, Workday added video as a frequent feature. It also expanded beyond a website, www.workdayminnesota.org, to utilize Facebook and Twitter.

Workday covers not only union activities, but also the actions of organizations such as worker centers and any efforts — like the campaign for a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize — that advance better conditions for working people.

The Labor Education Service is in the process of hiring a new editor to succeed Kucera, whose final day was Dec. 1. “We look forward to having someone who can take Workday to the next level,” she said.

Workday has won numerous awards over the years from the International Labor Communications Association for overall excellence, content and design. They include an award for a 2016 series of articles and videos on the widespread problem of wage theft.

Kucera, who holds degrees in journalism and industrial relations, edited the Union Advocate, the publication of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, for 14 years before helping to launch Workday.  In 2016, she received the Media Award for Outstanding Reporting on Employment from the national Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Source: PAI