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Partnership & Organizing Edmund Heery Centre for Global Labour Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Partnership & Organizing Edmund Heery Centre for Global Labour Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Partnership & Organizing Edmund Heery Centre for Global Labour Research

2 Relationship between partnership & organising Partnership needs powerful unions Employer-dominant partnership Concession bargaining Union-dominant partnership Extension of bargaining/influence Sources of power in effective partnership Bargaining power; political influence; legal rights Membership & collective organization

3 Relationship Organising must be prioritised in all other union policies (mainstreaming) Union decline in Wales All employees 1998-2006: -13.1% Private sector 2003-2006: -11.4% Public sector 2003-2006: -1.4% Effects of decline Loss of income, bargaining power & legitimacy Can partnership help reverse decline?

4 Using partnership: Organizing the employer Offering a partnership agreement to establish a new workplace union 49% of officers reported occasional use of this tactic in 2002 (n=572) Motives Cost-effective recruitment Means to recruit hard to organize groups Out competing other unions by attracting employer support

5 Organizing the employer Costs Bidding down terms of recognition Ineffective organizing price of employer support Cases from the Organizing Academy Manufacturing – recruitment on basis of individual services in company workwear Communications – blocking of organising campaign for fear of alienating agency partner Retail – management complaint about contravening partnership when issue-based organizing used

6 Using partnership: organizing workers Using the resources of the employer to contact & organize workers Cardiff survey of organizing campaigns, 98-05 Recruitment at point of induction: 30% Workplace recruitment meetings: 50% Use of employer provided list: 66% (N=236) Benefits of employer support to organizing Cardiff survey of organizing campaigns, 98-05 Shorter, less resource intensive campaigns Organizing around diversity & workplace learning Outcomes: majority membership; recognition; strengthening of workplace organization

7 Organizing workers Costs of employer supported organizing Organizing message more likely to stress partnership & individual services But Campaigns no less likely to use issue-based organizing and stress collective strength, bargaining power, and protective function of unions Organizers reassure members employer is supportive Employer-supported organizing does not lead to ineffectual unionism

8 Questions for discussion 1. Is there a link between partnership & organizing in public services in Wales? 2. How is the partnership agreement with WAG being used to promote organizing? 3. What are the strengths & weaknesses of the approaches adopted? 4. How might partnership with WAG be used to strengthen & extend trade unionism in the future?

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