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STRATEGY 1 ORGANISING STRATEGY What is organising? Why organise? Strategy 0.

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Presentation on theme: "STRATEGY 1 ORGANISING STRATEGY What is organising? Why organise? Strategy 0."— Presentation transcript:

1 STRATEGY 1 ORGANISING STRATEGY What is organising? Why organise? Strategy 0

2 STRATEGY 2 What is organising?

3 STRATEGY 3 What is organising? Increasing the participation of workers in unions. The goal is to increase union power in our workplaces and industries. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

4 STRATEGY 4 Learning from each other Organising situations share many of the same principles despite their particular realities. We need to continually adjust our plans to fit each of our unique situations. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

5 STRATEGY 5 How is organising different from recruiting? Signing up union members (recruiting) increases our numbers and our income from union membership dues. Recruiting is part of organising, but if the new members do not participate in the union, we have not organised them. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

6 STRATEGY 6 What is our unions interest in organising or increasing worker participation? We want to organise non- union workers and win union recognition. We already have union structures, and we want existing members more involved in our union. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

7 STRATEGY 7 ACTIVITY: Why do we want to organise? Why are we hesitant to organise? Aim: To share and analyse our reasons for organising. Tasks: Select a facilitator and timekeeper. Review your definition of organising. List and discuss the reasons why we want to organise and why we are hesitant to organise. Think about your individual reasons and the unions reasons. Pay special attention to the reasons why we are hesitant to organise. This will help us understand what obstacles and barriers we need to overcome. Prepare to share with the large group. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

8 STRATEGY 8 Why are we hesitant to organise? Why do we want to organise? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

9 STRATEGY 9 Why do we want to organise? To improve working conditions To improve the industry and the economy To help other workers To build collective power for workers To protect conditions for current union members from unfair wage competition To protect conditions for current union members from unfair wage competition WHAT IS ORGANISING?

10 STRATEGY 10 Why are we hesitant to organise? Too difficult and we might not win. Workers will get pressured. The workers are apathetic. Not enough time and resources. Too many problems to resolve with our current members. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

11 STRATEGY 11 What have we done in the past to help us organise and increase member participation in our union? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

12 STRATEGY 12 What is a union? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

13 STRATEGY 13 What is a union? An organisation of workers acting collectively to improve working and social conditions for all workers. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

14 STRATEGY 14 Why do unions need worker participation? Sometimes unions have enough power to win improvements in conditions without involving the majority of the workers. Without worker participation, we may win improved conditions, but will we have organised a stronger union? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

15 STRATEGY 15 Three common reasons some organising plans fail 1.Workers not willing or able to take risks necessary to win. 2.Lacking a good plan with insufficient support. 3.Not having a clear vision that workers can support. WHAT IS ORGANISING?

16 STRATEGY 16 What power does the employer have? What power does a worker have? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

17 STRATEGY 17 What power does the employer have? What power does a worker have? Economic resources Control of capital and global economy Attempted control over workers Legal tools and resources Allies in the government, media, other companies and society Other Economic resources Control of capital and global economy Attempted control over workers Legal tools and resources Allies in the government, media, other companies and society Other Collective solidarity… if organised Skill and ability to affect production or services… if organised Control of key positions in global supply chains… if organised Allies with other workers and communities, locally and internationally… if organised Legal tools and resources… if organised Allies with government and media… if organised Other Collective solidarity… if organised Skill and ability to affect production or services… if organised Control of key positions in global supply chains… if organised Allies with other workers and communities, locally and internationally… if organised Legal tools and resources… if organised Allies with government and media… if organised Other WHAT IS ORGANISING?

18 STRATEGY 18 Anything else to discuss about what we mean by organising and why organising is important? WHAT IS ORGANISING?

19 STRATEGY 19 Strategy

20 STRATEGY 20 What is strategy? STRATEGY

21 21 Strategy involves planning ahead about what situations might arise and adjusting our actions accordingly. STRATEGY

22 22 Planning Your Organising Strategy A good plan does not hide our difficulties or weaknesses. A good plan does not underestimate the power of the employer or decision maker. STRATEGY

23 23 Planning your organising strategy When planning organising strategy include participants who are: Union members activists Union staff Elected union leaders Non-union workers When planning organising strategy include participants who are: Union members activists Union staff Elected union leaders Non-union workers Think about recruiting participants who can relate to other workers based on: Age Gender Geography Industry Occupation Culture Language Other Think about recruiting participants who can relate to other workers based on: Age Gender Geography Industry Occupation Culture Language Other STRATEGY

24 24 Will workers feel pressure to not become involved in the union? In most of the world, workers will face strong anti-union campaigns. Where unions are well established, there may not be significant pressure on workers. However, even in a stable labour relations environment, a challenge to established power relationships may create pressure on workers. Where unions are well established, there may not be significant pressure on workers. However, even in a stable labour relations environment, a challenge to established power relationships may create pressure on workers. STRATEGY

25 25 ACTIVITY: What might the employer (or decision maker) do or say? Aim: To predict what the anti-union campaign might look like. Tasks: Select a facilitator and timekeeper. Discuss what the employer has done in the past to prevent workers from organising. List everything you think the employer might do or say. Prepare to compare your lists with others. STRATEGY

26 26 What might the employer do or say? Support workers efforts to organise Befriend workers Promote union supporters to management Give raises and make promises Increase discipline or fire union supporters Discredit union leadership Start anti-union loyalty committee (yellow union) Terminate unpopular managers Threaten to close the company Meet with the workers one-to-one Use physical violence Say Give us a second chance, we promise to improve things Say We are all one happy family Say The union is the outside party Say It is not my decision Say You dont need a union because you have a works council Yell and intimidate Hire an outside anti-union consultant Other STRATEGY

27 27 How can we build a step-by- step plan to build the collective strength that we need to face the employer? STRATEGY

28 28 STRATEGY

29 29 STRATEGY

30 30 STRATEGY

31 31 STRATEGY

32 32 Adjust the framework to fit your organising situation For example: You might want to map the workplace first in order to determine where the workers are and what they are concerned about. OR You may want to start addressing workplace problems right away as a way to energise workers to become involved. STRATEGY

33 33 What are benchmarks? Benchmarks are specific goals that measures levels of worker involvement. In our strategic framework there are four key benchmarks. STRATEGY

34 34

35 STRATEGY 35 STRATEGY

36 36 STRATEGY

37 37 STRATEGY

38 38 Set your own benchmarks Set the benchmarks at the percentage that fits your organising situation. Benchmarks should be high enough to build a strong union power for the future, not simply enough to meet a mobilisation event or a legal requirement for union recognition. STRATEGY

39 39 We need to adapt and change as circumstances change. Build in regular reviews and discussions of our strategy and benchmarks.

40 STRATEGY 40 When workers will be facing pressure from the employer… Benchmarks are often set at 75% to ensure majority support from workers. Once we publicly confront the employer pressure against the workers increases. Some workers will reduce their involvement, which undermines our majority support.

41 STRATEGY 41 When workers are protected from employer pressure… Focus your organising on the areas where the union needs and wants more worker participation. Decide the level of worker participation you need.

42 STRATEGY 42 Why might union leaders decide to confront the employer or decision maker without majority worker support?

43 STRATEGY 43 Pressures on union leaders to confront the employer without majority worker support Lack of time and resources Belief that the workers will never be ready Hope that worker support will naturally increase Groups of workers in another location or country being ready before others Challenges to the culture of the union Desire to take immediate action to assist others who are weak Not having an organising plan

44 STRATEGY 44 How can we avoid confronting anti-union employers or decision makers before we are ready?

45 STRATEGY 45 How can we avoid confronting anti-union employers or decision makers before we are ready? No media releases or public announcements. No written union materials. Do not work to resolve workplace problems too early. Explain to workers the overall strategy of waiting until we have built enough support before we begin to act against the employer. Other

46 STRATEGY 46 If there are external deadlines… With contract negotiations or a privatisation threat, it is essential that the union begins organising early. Too often we wait or delay our organising work and then blame the workers if they are not involved when we need them.

47 STRATEGY 47 What if the employer finds out?

48 STRATEGY 48 If the employer finds out… We stick to our strategy. If union organisers are terminated we may be forced to take public action. However, at the same time we can quietly and systematically continue our mapping and training of workers.

49 STRATEGY 49 What if we need to decrease our organising resources?

50 STRATEGY 50 What if we need to decrease our organising resources? We still keep in communication with and support the workers who have become more involved. Setting benchmarks helps us set the groundwork for difficult decisions.

51 STRATEGY 51


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