The Biggest Strike in World History? No Thanks, We’re Focusing on the New iPhone

Trade unions in India representing some 180 million workers staged a one-day strike—and there was virtually no coverage by mainstream American media.

FAIR / Alternet, By Jim Naureckas, September 9, 2016

When tens of millions of workers go out on strike in the second-largest country in the world—and the third-largest economy in the world—resulting in what may be the biggest labor action in world history (AlterNet, 9/7/16), you’d think that would merit some kind of news coverage, right?

Not if you’re a decision-maker at a U.S. corporate media outlet, apparently.

A coalition of trade unions in India representing some 180 million workers staged a one-day general strike on Friday, September 2, in protest of what they called the “anti-worker and anti-people” policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an advocate of neoliberal policies and increased foreign investment (Democracy Now!, 9/2/16). Assocham, India’s chamber of commerce, estimated that the economic impact of the strike was $2.4 billion–$2.7 billion (Hindustan Today, 9/3/16).

And yet there was virtually no coverage of the strike in commercial US media, according to searches of the Nexis news database. Not a word on ABC, CBS or NBC. No mention on the main cable news networks—CNN, Fox and MSNBC—either. (The Intercept‘s Zaid Jilani—9/6/16—noted that there was one mention on CNN International, when “the CEO of the human resources consulting firm ManpowerGroup cited the Indian strike as part of global concerns about technology suppressing wages.”) Neither the PBS NewsHournor NPR touched the story.

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