UFCW has been using social media for awhile in its labour disputes (e.g., posting pictures of scabs and customers crossing picket lines). With a strike looming at Superstore this weekend, UFCW has posted a video on Youtube highlighting the effect that reduced hours are having on Superstore cleanliness. It is well worth a watch.
This video does a nice job of linking worker interests with those of customers and is designed to increase the effectiveness of the UFCW picket line. Even if you hate unions, would you buy food from a mouse-infested store?
While I'm no expert on social media (I don't even have a cell phone!), my sense is that this kind of public campaign is an inexpensive and easy tactic to enhance union bargaining power with an employer. They also give union members a way to directly contribute to union job actions--perhaps acting without the knowledge or outside of the control of the union.
-- Bob Barnetson