Stepping up to the challenge of bringing new members into the union in the pandemic, the UWUA National Organizing Department held its first virtual organizing training workshop earlier this year.
Participants included volunteer regional organizers: Region 5, Lita Jimenez, trustee/steward, Local 132; Region 4, Michael Mullins, organizing director, Local 223; Region 3, Jason Wensel, Local 492 and David Coggins, organizing director, Local 270. National officers, e-board members, local officers, staff, and regional representatives, also attended the 2 ½ hour workshop that provided an overview of the basic principles of union organizing:
- One-on-One Communication Building relationships, not “selling” the union. The most effective way to communicate with workers is face-to-face (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
- Action Workers must demonstrate that they are the union. To win, workers must be active and take on many tasks to move an organizing campaign forward to successfully form a union. There must be a representative committee that is willing to take action around issues that will help build and maintain majority worker support. The union is not a third party.
- Have a Strategy and Plan Workers will fight if they know about and are involved in a winning plan! Every campaign must start with a plan that workers understand and are a part of. Workers must know about, and prepare for, an employer’s anti-union campaign and how employers use their power to stop workers from winning.
Volunteer organizers Lita Jimenez and Michael Mullins followed-up the UWUA workshop by attending the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute’s three-day online certificate training. That training includes interactive polls, group exercises, and team building. The curriculum focuses on the principles of internal organizing, issue campaigns, and reinforces the UWUA’s organizing training. It teaches what the characteristics of an effective organizer are, how to successfully make house calls, recruit leadership, and build an organizing committee, to increase worker power, and collective action to win!
The UWUA Organizing Department will be offering the virtual organizing training workshop to local leadership, and rank-and-file members. The goal is to create a community of organizers who share a mission and a set of principles of how to win at organizing, build power for working people and build the union.
Contact Bob Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org or Valerie King at email@example.com to schedule a training session.