Over the years we’ve had to fight for every gain we have ever made in wages, benefits, and working conditions. Employers have never given us anything out of the goodness of their hearts. Our gains have been established only after employers have recognized that workers do have power. And a Union’s power can only be achieved when it has the engagement and support of its members who can mobilize.
Mobilization is an information and action program which allows all members to play a positive role in improving working conditions, while building a strong voice at the table. It allows members to participate directly in the process and increase their solidarity to send a “clear message” that we’re united and serious about a fair contract. Mobilization in the workplace is one way to inform and involve every member in negotiations. And Unions are most powerful if they have an informed, active and educated membership. This is the “key” to building solidarity…
If your not aware your local has just released the memberships new app on google play and iOS just in time for at&t midwest bargaining. This app will provide our members with the “key” as mentioned above. Login often and read any news updates made available. Use the new app to submit mobilization pictures which could be used in our local news, and possible submission to district for bargaining reports! Use the -Member Voices- menu individually or when in large workgoups to record a message of support to the bargaining team. Then use the email function in the menu to send us the recording and we’ll then forward on up to the bargaining team. Hearing from the members, and knowing there is a growing swell of support, gives our bargaining team the power and influence to negotiate a lucrative contract that moves us all forward.
And from the bargaining table we are fortunate to have President Tim Strong representing Indiana as one of the 5 elected bargaining team members. Tim has made a committment that he will provide us with “updates he can provide”, without spoiling the bargaining process. Look for these updates coming soon in our Podcast menu on the app.
Bargaining begins on March 4, 2015. Going forward we will need to build on the amount of pressure, support and level of committment. Let’s begin by “showing solidarity” in our workgroups! Walk in together at report time. Wear red every Wednesday and Thursday. In offices stand up together at a certain time each day. Plaster union boards with pictures of our family to remind us all of what we are fighting for. These are just a few of the ideas to begin with. Some mobilization efforts work better in one workgroup as opposed to another. The best ideas come from our members! Find out what works best in your workgroup and talk to your area mobilization coordinator about implementing your idea(s). Your idea could become a district wide event!
Finally, I’ve heard members say, “mobilization does not help” or “I’m not going to participate”. Again…our bargaining team has the power to win what they have the power to win”. That power comes from you…”it comes from all of us” collectively working together to achive a contract that benefits us and our families in the years ahead. Contracts are not given, they are achieved through mobilization by the membership. And to influence the bargaining process, a high level of activity and committment will be necessary from the membership. As the landscape of the business is changing, so will job functions. It’s imperative that we “fight now” to gain access to jobs of the future! Make no mistake…this is the most important contract ever negotiated in our history of wireline bargaining.
The picture of the bear? Seems appropriate, lets come out of hibernation and be hungry for a fair contract!
Please note: Picket preference forms and strike authorization forms will be coming soon