NEW YORK – A labor group affiliated with the nation’s largest union is giving its highest prize for journalism to a writer from the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA.
President Obama’s labor secretary, Hilda Solis, will be on hand for the awards dinner this week to lead a special session on how to respond to “expected” attacks from the new Republican-led House.
The International Labor Communications Association, or ILCA, a national coalition of labor organizers, is bestowing its media award to John Wojcik, the labor editor for People’s World, the official Communist Party USA publication.
He will receive a feature-writing prize for his Sept. 19, 2009, story, “Steeler Nation Fights Its Way Back,” a short article on the alleged hardships of steelworkers.
The ILCA is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the largest union in the country.
According to an announcement of the Nov. 19 awards ceremony, Solis will give attendees “a chance to learn how the Department of Labor will respond to the expected attacks that will come from the new Republican majority in the House.”
The Communist Party USA has long celebrated the role of labor unions in electing Democrats.
After the presidential election in 2008, WND reported the official magazine of the Communist Party USA lauded the important role of labor unions in electing Obama, quoting socialist-aligned labor leaders hoping the unions can work with the president to enact policies related to jobs, retirement security and health-care reform.
In an article titled “Special Interest or Class Consciousness? How Labor Put Obama in the White House,” Political Affairs reports on polling data that revealed the extent of union support for Obama.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, sponsored a poll just after the election showing union members supported Obama by a 68-30 margin and strongly influenced their family members.
According to the survey, Obama won among white men who are union members by 18 points. Union gun-owners backed Obama by 12 points, while union veterans voted for Obama by a 25-point margin. In the general population, Obama lost these groups by significant margins.
Political Affairs quoted AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, a longtime member of the Boston chapter of the Democrat Socialists for America, expressing hope labor unions can continue working with Obama.
“We have taken the first crucial steps to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. And what we’ve seen – the stunning voter participation and the common call for change – is an indication of the history we can continue to make together,” Sweeney said.
“The election is just step one in delivering the change we need,” Sweeney said. “Working men and women are poised to keep the energy pumping to help the Obama administration lead the change we need. There will be no gap or letdown.”
The communist magazine said priorities for labor unions are “regulating Wall Street and restoring fairness to international trade” as well as “health-care reform” to provide coverage to “nearly 50 million people without insurance and make medical care affordable for all.”