Building Power for the Long Haul
What happens now? One year later...or ten, recruiting leaders, one-on-one conversations and putting people into action is still the key to a vibrant activist union that builds power for working people.
“Power in numbers” still applies and you can use the same tools you did when you built your union for the very first time. Assessment and planning helps decide where to start.
decide where to start
Regardless of whether you want to sign up more members, ramp up participation in meetings or increase the number of activists, start with an evaluation of your own internal strengths and weaknesses.
- Do we have a good list of both members and nonmembers and do we know how to reach them?
- Which members have been active in some way or another over the years?
- Are there any issues that might help us unite people and get them engaged?
recruit an organizing committee
An organizing committee expands ownership and creates more roles for members to be active. This can be the officers and stewards but involve others. Recruit and engage a representative group of workplace leaders to lead the campaign.
Use your #1 organizing tool
A face-to-face conversation is still the best way to engage other members in the union. Even though you think people should be paying attention and care as much as you do, just dropping them an email or passing out a leaflet may not do the trick. Refresh your committee on the value of one-on-one communication and how to put it into practice to engage members and recruit activists.
Getting people together around workplace issues that are important to them will help them make the connection to the union. This will always work better than just "come to the union meeting" or "you should join the union." Engaging people in actions as part of an issue campaign can help remind and energize them on why we organized a union and how we can make a difference.
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