Tag Archives for " union organizing "

NLRB official rejects Columbia objections to grad union vote

  • March 7, 2017

Organizing Efforts Rising On College Campuses  

Politico Pro is reporting that the NLRB has rejected arguments from Columbia University over a recent election in which graduate students voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the UAW.

The university had alleged that UAW leadership “improperly coerced ” voters, among other misbehavior, and requested a new election be held.

Zweighaft held a hearing in the board’s Brooklyn office in late January. She issued her report and recommendations on Monday, finding that any irregularities were minor, and advocating the certification of Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW Local 2110.

“The Employer has failed to demonstrate that any alleged objectionable conduct occurred which could have affected the results of this election, in which the Petitioner prevailed by more than 900 votes,” she wrote. “Accordingly, I have recommended overruling the Employer’s objections in their entirety … I recommend that the Petitioner be certified as the exclusive bargaining representative.”

Olga Brudastova, a civil engineering PhD student and union organizer, said in a statement: “Now that we’ve officially won our union, we can focus on bargaining improvements in a fair contract.”

The university now has until March 20 to file exceptions to Zweighaft’s recommendations. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the development.

Read the report and recommendations here.

Here’s What Communication Consultants Are Telling Unions To Tell Your Workers

  • March 6, 2017

Messaging Matters

Gratuitous Cute Beagle Picture

Union membership in the United States has fallen to the lowest level ever, but that doesn’t mean labor unions aren’t still out there talking to your employees.  Just the opposite is true.  While unions are struggling with traditional organizing, they are busy trying to refine their messaging for today’s worker.  Over the next couple of days, our blogs will share some of the ways they are trying to change their messaging to stay relevant.

Here are a couple of examples taken directly from a working document that can be found on the web on what communication strategists are telling union organizers on how they should be messaging to your employees.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Messaging

• Make an Emotional Connection: Your current language is viewed as “tired” or doesn’t connect. You must make an emotional connection by speaking to –not at – the people who matter.

• Prove Your Value: You need to sell yourself. Show people why paying for a membership is worth it. Too often the good you do for members is needlessly minimized. Always emphasize the“better wages, better benefits, and better life” that you are fighting for.

• Remember, “We are Not the Audience:” Too often, the messages or statements we make are ones that are designed for staff, not non-members.

• Give Them 5 Key Facts: Simply saying that members get “a voice on the job” is not enough – you need specifics. Even the best message needs to be anchored with five key facts of what members will get.
• Focus on member stories: People generally respond better to an emotional
and personal appeal. Real members are our strongest advocates; they need to be the face of your public messaging.

  • Words to Use:
    • Partner
    • Hard-working families
    • Job security
    • A better life

We’ll cover what union messages won’t resonate with your employees tomorrow.

Organizers taking advantage of new technology

  • February 25, 2016

ufcw e-card
Organizers taking advantage of new technology

It’s too early to start calling it a trend, but I’m hearing an increasing number of stories filtering in to the office from CUE members or on-line news stories regarding an uptick in the use of electronic organizing techniques by unions.

Examples of this type of activity that have been seen  recently include:

— an anonymous website aimed at Amazon;

— reports of a health care campaign in Pennsylvania where organizers were collecting signatures on an e-card on iPads;

— information on a new type of organizing software called Broadstripes CRM  that allows unions to collect employee information and organize it to generate maps, track employment data, create and create dynamic reports including heat maps and driving plans for home visits.

Stay tuned. It’s something to keep an eye on for now, and we will have a session covering these issues of Responding to Online Organizing at the conference in Orlando.