Organizing

Today’s workers need today’s unions. Even in good economic times, most working families are struggling to get ahead. And according to recent poll, almost half of working Americans – nearly 50 million people – would join a union if they had the chance.

But will they have the chance? As it stands, the odds aren’t good. Although the number of union elections overseen by the NLRB is growing, and the percentage of those in which workers vote for the union is rising slightly, employers are more adept than ever at using legal, as well as illegal, tactics to suppress organizing drives. Today, workers who try to form a union face a war in the workplace – and it’s one in which employers have an overwhelming advantage.

And so, if we are to help working families gain a voice on the job and a fair share of the wealth they create, America’s unions face two challenges. One, is to curtail interference by employers in a decision that rightfully belongs to employees – the choice to join a union. The other is to build a foundation, over the long term, for enacting legal reforms that once again will guarantee workers the right to freely organize unions to improve their lives.

But will they have the chance? As it stands, the odds aren’t good. Although the number of union elections overseen by the NLRB is growing, and the percentage of those in which workers vote for the union is rising slightly, employers are more adept than ever at using legal, as well as illegal, tactics to suppress organizing drives. Today, workers who try to form a union face a war in the workplace – and it’s one in which employers have an overwhelming advantage.

And so, if we are to help working families gain a voice on the job and a fair share of the wealth they create, America’s unions face two challenges. One, is to curtail interference by employers in a decision that rightfully belongs to employees – the choice to join a union. The other is to build a foundation, over the long term, for enacting legal reforms that once again will guarantee workers the right to freely organize unions to improve their lives.

 

Our Strategy is Threefold

First, at a time when most people know little about unions and what they do, we must, reintroduce America to its union movement – making clear the role unions play in addressing the needs of working men and women and giving them a voice on the job and in the economy.

Second, to make it easier for workers to join unions, we must make injustice visible. We must expose and stigmatize employers that refuse to respect the choices of employees. And we must make rabidly anti-union intimidation campaigns unacceptable in our communities.

Finally, we must mobilize union members and entire communities to help workers win union representation, building new community alliances with moral and political strength necessary to restore freedom and democracy in our workplaces.

By throwing open the doors to what has traditionally been a secret – the intimidation campaigns, scare tactics and legal maneuvers used by employers – we can draw attention to the fundamental flaws in our legal system and the violation of America’s basic values and rights taking place every day and in every community.

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