Lay the Foundation
Organize Your Co-Workers
Hit us up and we’ll help you make your plan, talk to your co-workers, and know where you stand before you act.
The most important part of building support for your union is having face to face conversations with your co-workers. Find out the best practices for these.
The more workplace leaders you have on board, the more likely you are to win.
When things get real, you want to know who’s on your side. Find out how to make real assessments of who supports the union.
1-on-1 Organizing Conversation Steps
Listen: Get their issue.
- People don’t fight for your issue, they fight for their issue.
- Ask a lot of open-ended questions. Their issue might not be obvious. Like, If you could wave a magic wand and improve something about our job, what would it be?
- Remember: a 1-on-1 should be 70% listening, 30% talking. People won’t remember what you say. They’ll take action because of something they feel, not because of a fact you can recite.
Uncover righteous anger.
- How does that make you feel?
- Do you think you deserve that?
- How does that affect your life?
Lay the Blame
Ask questions to help the person think through who’s responsible.
Who’s responsible for the issue? Who made the decisions to let it happen?
- Do you think the higher ups would put up with this in their job?
- Why do you think they’ve done this?
- Why do you think they don’t care?
Plan to Win
Lay out the plan: how you’ll build support to act on the tactics in your union drive.
- What do you think should be done about the issue?
- If we had a strong group of most of our co-workers united together taking action, do you think we could force the company to fix this?
Call the Question
Are they ready to take a concrete step to commit? Yes or no. ‘Maybe’ means no, and you need to go back to the issues. If ‘no’, it’s ok, let them know you’re available and try again later.
Once they’ve committed to take action, talk through the potential responses and risks, then ask again if they’re ready to go.
- What do you think the owners will think about the union and what are they going to do?
Then, talk about the carrot/stick approach the boss will use to divide workers from each other.
Highlight that the management will try to make any union sound like a “3rd party” coming between you, even though WE–you and your co-workers– are the union!
A leader is someone who has followers. They have earned the respect and trust of their co-workers, and they are listened to when others aren’t sure what to do.
To identify, ask your co-workers things like– who do you go to when you have a problem or need help? Who’s the best person at their job? Who would people listen to when they aren’t sure what to do?
When several workers identify a person, you know they’re a leader.
Making accurate and timely assessments of your co-workers’ support for concerted action is crucial. The assessment system ranges from 1-4.
- 1- Dedicated activist
- 2- Supporters– they support the union and have showed it. They didn’t just say yes, they signed the petition or showed up at a march on the boss.
- 3- Undecided– you’ve had a 1-on-1 with them but they are still on the fence, or they didn’t follow through on a commitment.
- 4- Opponents– these workers have demonstrated they are against the union.
Over time your goal is to move people up the scale; from 4’s to 3’s, 3’s to 2’s, 2’s to 1’s. But you will always count on a small core of 1’s to do most of the work.
Message us to get started.
You’re not alone–join together with other workers and get support.