"The Labour Movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress"
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We know that when workers come together, we can do great things! The end of child labour, fair wages for all, paid maternity leave and so much more all happened because workers and unions came together in action.
To win big, unions need to organize. This requires dedication and a focus on reaching out to all members.
The YEU, with support from the PSAC-North, is starting a 1-year pilot to help Union Locals in their organizing efforts.
We will develop a network of trained Local Organizers who will work with their Local Union Executives to bring members together and organize around out what matters to them.
"We already have organized a union and we have a decent contract so why do we need to keep organizing?" Unions organize to keep building power in the workplace. We need power in the workplace so that everyone is respected and can assert themselves when they need to. We need power in the workplace to build support for bargaining demands. We need power in the workplace to stay connected to each other. These are polarizing times. An organized workplace engages members through the lens of union values of solidarity, safety, interdependence, inclusion, and the common good.
What is Organizing?
Organizing in a union that has already been established means connecting members and engaging with them around issues that matter. Organizing activities can therefore look different in each Union Local. Some Locals may want to focus on meeting every single member to make sure they know their rights and are connected to the union. Others may want to focus on building support for the upcoming negotiations. Others may want to build public support and increase government funding for their work. Whatever activities your Local decides it wants to do, it needs to engage members with an organizing mindset.
As union members get talking and involved in activities, more issues are tackled.
"A year before the contract expired, we started up Contract Action Committees in each of our sites. Each committee member was responsible for communicating with about 10 employees face-to-face to give updates, reinforce our demands and plan escalating workplace actions. We had button days, union color days, info sessions on our breaks. We went from apathy to engagement with a capital E and won the best contract in years!"
How will Local Organizers Organize?
Local Organizers will first participate in a 2-day workshop in early 2022 to learn organizing skills: how to have engaging conversations with members, how to map workplaces, and how to develop a plan of what each Local wants to accomplish. See details about the workshop here:
Throughout the year there will be ongoing learning opportunities to deepen the skill development and exchange leanings from different locals. Organizers will fine-tune their action plans and build on successes and learn from failures.
The amount of time that each Local Organizer will spend on organizing activities will vary from Local to Local. At least 19 days over the year is planned, but there can be more time throughout the year.
Who can be a Local Organizer?
Any member of the YEU can be a Local Organizer. You don’t have to be a Shop Steward or Local Executive member. Local Organizers will be selected from applicants who demonstrate an interest and ability to commit to building a stronger union.
You can complete and submit the application form here:
If you would like to find out more about this opportunity, please join a short info session on Dec xx. We’ll answer any questions you might have.