From the TUC

Organising – the big picture

11 Apr 2010, By

 The Andrew Marr show this morning had a brief section on community organising and community organisers and made reference to the ascent of President Obama from Chicago Community Organsieer to, aherm, President of the USofA.  We at the Organising Academy have for years been training union organisers to build capacity at grass roots level.  As a consequence of the Organsing Academy and other union initiatives , we have over 200,000 union reps who have volunteered and been elected to make a difference in the areas where they work.  Many union campaigns link directly into communities and reach locally elected councillors, MPs, church leaders and other grassroots organisations.  I am not saying that our esteemed Academy has or is housing the next PM of the UK, but what I am saying is that the bigger picture of organising – in workplaces, communities, and beyond – is not about career paths or stepping stones, it’s about finding and training local people and empowering them toward achieving a fairer more just society.  Fulfilling this ambition take time, tenacity and hope.   The TUC Organsing Academy has trained hundreds of organisers, and just this week alone is training over 30 people to continue to meet this ambition, we are in this for the long haul!

2 Responses to Organising – the big picture

  1. Jean Lotus
    Apr 22nd 2010, 6:08 pm

    Not a union member — I’m in school to become a teacher –but I’m wondering… Is Facebook and cellphone communication the way to get solidarity for all of the service workers who are “un-unionizable” because they aren’t working shoulder to shoulder in factories like the 1930s??

  2. Liz

    Apr 25th 2010, 6:08 pm

    Hi Jean Lotus, really good point. The world of work and how it is organised is so different now to 10,20,30 years ago. There are many union efforts to reach out in new ways. For example student societies, virtual branches and text communications are forming part of normal uk union life. The strongerunions channel on youtube is full of films to provide campaign and join a union advice. We have facebook groups for union solidarity campaigns and a union tool on facebook for people to state which union they are a member of. Labourstart provide international solidarity ebased campaigns. For all of these initiatives though, it is still a proven fact that most people haven’t joined a union because they haven’t been asked. Techniques to gather data to ask people to join are improving all the time. Union organising needs to be more strategic and the digital strategy is more important now than ever because of the changes in work organisation. As a student training to teach, you will probably find that there is a union for you to join now – it’s never too soon! Tell me where you are and I will let you know your options….