LOS ANGELES – John Wojcik, co-editor of the People’s World, was elected as a vice president of the International Labor Communications Association at the ILCA convention here Sept. 6. Wojcik is also labor editor.
The ILCA is an organization of more than 100 union publications and media production departments of national and local affiliates of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win. A number of independent labor-oriented newspapers also belong to the organization.
Wojcik became labor editor in 2007 and has represented People’s World at ILCA since then.
“We are thrilled to have him as vice president on our executive board,” said newly elected ILCA President, Kathy Cummings. “Wojcik brings to the board years of dedication and experience as a labor journalist committed to the goals of our organization – getting out the word about what the labor movement is doing and providing a voice for millions of working men and women in America.”
Cummings, who was elected president of ILCA, also on Sept. 6, is the communications director of the AFL-CIO’s Washington State Labor Council.
“While I am honored to be chosen for a position like this by fellow labor journalists,” said Wojcik, “the real credit goes to all the editors, staff, volunteers and supporters of the People’s World and to the working people whose stories they tell. Just look at the coverage they are giving not just to the labor movement, but to the struggles of young people, seniors, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, environmentalists, LGBT people, immigrants, restaurant workers, carwash workers, and so many others. It is no exaggeration to say that today, as has been the case for generations, one of the best ways of knowing what’s going on in this country is to read the People’s World.”
Also elected to the executive board of ILCA that same day were Ed Finkelstein, editor of the St. Louis Labor Tribune, to the position of treasurer and Howard Kling of Workday Minnesota to the position of secretary.
Cummings said it was her intention to work with her newly elected executive board to bring in new members.
“We need to expand and include more people and their publications and media operations,” she said. “In the same way the labor movement as a whole is reaching out to its allies. John Wojcik will help us accomplish this goal.”
In 2010, Wojcik received an award from ILCA for his feature story “Steeler Nation fights its way back,” a story that traced, in their own words, the personal tragedies of laid off steel workers and their heroic comebacks. The workers were interviewed as they watched and celebrated after a big Steeler game in Pittsburgh.
Wojcik came to People’s World after working as a union meat cutter in New Jersey. There he also served as shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee and was active in the union’s campaign to win public support for Walmart workers.
The ILCA has a long history in the U.S. labor movement. It was founded in 1955 as the International Labor Press Association. Its formation was brought about by the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Its original mission was to coordinate the message of the newly formed AFL-CIO in labor newspapers, newsletters and magazines throughout the labor movement. It changed its name to ILCA in 1985.
Photo: Wojcik reviews his notes at a Freeport, Illinois campsite called Bainport. It was set up by American workers protesting the outsourcing of their jobs by Sensata, a Mitt Romney-owned company. PW