WASHINGTON - Calling its old website static and often confusing to navigate, the AFL-CIO, after a year of work, revamped its site to make it easier to surf - and to feature more prominently the voices and faces of rank-and-file workers.
At a press preview on Feb. 29, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler explained the site would also be more interactive, with blogs open to all workers - union and non-union - and a "direct action" section where everyone from local unions on up could post events, mobilization and other campaigns.
The site will also be updated automatically with newer news of interest to all workers, rather than manual updating with a concentration of news of interest only to unionists. And there will be in-site links where users can pull together all information on one topic, or one political official, in one place.
"You didn't get the sense that the AFL-CIO represented more than its members," Shuler said. "This will be about people seeing" the federation "as the place to come for information on what's happening in the world of work."
The new site went up at midnight on Feb. 29. It's also tied to other AFL-CIO-sponsored sites, including its new http://www.workconnectsusall.org, which emphasizes the world of work and how different jobs are interdependent and affect each other.
"Our messaging was more internally focused. Now we're saying that if you're union or non-union, work is a source of dignity and that it fully connects us" to each other, Shuler said.
A key feature of the site will be a series of rotating images of workers on the job, in a wide range of occupations. There will also be more educational features, because sometimes people approaching the site don't even know basics "such as what collective bargaining is," Shuler says.
The site will also have more-easily accessible tabs, and will highlight the AFL-CIO's two most-viewed features: Its blog and the Executive PayWatch. The blog will be open to all commenters, but it will be moderated.
One thing won't change: To go to the new site, type in http://www.aflcio.org.
Photo: Screencap from aflcio.org.