How the media view public-sector workers: A critical discourse analysis of a 2009 municipal workers' strike in Windsor, Ontario

Travis G. Reitsma, University of Windsor


Research in the field of media coverage of organized labour has found that there often exist biases in the way in which unions and their workers are presented. With the ever increasing influence of both the media and neoliberal political and economic ideologies, the public image of organized labour has come under attack. This thesis seeks to expose another instance of this bias in the Windsor Star's coverage of a 2009 municipal workers' strike in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; a public-sector strike. A detailed critical discourse analysis (CDA) was conducted on 480 texts regarding the strike in 2009. An anti-union bias was found especially throughout the coverage. This bias can be seen to have a detrimental effect on the image of public-sector workers which serves to further discredit them in their struggle against neoliberal power structures which seek to minimize their influence.