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Alex Gaby
Alex Gaby, 1988
Photo: Marilyn Anderson

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Alex Gaby

The editor of Labor News from 1948 until 1979 was Alex Gaby, a newspaper man who had been a member of the Newspaper Guild since 1938. Gaby took a chronicler’s approach to the paper, reporting carefully and thoroughly on issues he thought relevant and of interest to Rochester’s working people. His editorials included one in 1960 about the purpose of the Labor News: “to bring before the eyes and hearts of its readers the aims and programs of organized labor.” Union labor has been responsible for “a way of life which accepts social security for the aged, workmen’s compensation for the injured, unemployment benefits for the jobless, pensions and welfare for those who have finished a lifetime of work, a limit to the number of hours to be worked in a day and in a week, and even a floor to the amount we are paid — and more, so much, much more; all the outcomes of labor’s struggles in the communities, in the states, and on the national level.”

In 1978 Gaby bemoaned the loss of a commemoration of labor’s history when he wrote, “Remember May Day? . . . Last Monday was ‘May Day’ in Rochester, the United States, and across the world. Very little was done locally about it, and that’s too bad because a vast lake of blood was shed by workers a century ago, and into the early 1930s, to spread the message of ‘May Day’ and to relive the horrors of the brutal police and company goon attacks at the Hay Market, the Pullman strike, the sit-downs in Detroit, and all the places where labor bled and died to win the right to live a life worth living in an increasingly complex industrial world.”

In 1979, in his last issue of Labor News, Gaby wrote, “With this current March 16 issue I am closing a career in labor journalism which has been the most gratifying period of my life. I have worked for labor’s program involving the social, economic, and security aspects of the union members in this community; a labor of love because I believe in this program, and I hope I have helped bring the program more deeply into the hearts and minds of our readers, and helped promote it in the general community. If I have successfully done so, it is enough to satisfy me professionally and as a human being for the rest of my life.”