Partnership Organizing

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					Partnership & Organizing

        Edmund Heery
    Centre for Global Labour
            Research
Relationship between partnership &
organising
   Partnership needs powerful unions
       Employer-dominant partnership
            Concession bargaining
       Union-dominant partnership
            Extension of bargaining/influence
       Sources of power in effective partnership
            Bargaining power; political influence; legal rights
            Membership & collective organization
Relationship
 Organising must be prioritised in all other
  union policies (mainstreaming)
 Union decline in Wales
       All employees 1998-2006: -13.1%
       Private sector 2003-2006: -11.4%
       Public sector 2003-2006: -1.4%
   Effects of decline
       Loss of income, bargaining power & legitimacy
   Can partnership help reverse decline?
Using partnership: Organizing the employer
   Offering a partnership agreement to
    establish a new workplace union
       49% of officers reported ‘occasional’ use of
        this tactic in 2002 (n=572)
   Motives
       Cost-effective recruitment
       Means to recruit hard to organize groups
       Out competing other unions by attracting
        employer support
Organizing the employer
   Costs
       Bidding down terms of recognition
       Ineffective organizing price of employer
        support
       Cases from the Organizing Academy
            Manufacturing – recruitment on basis of individual
             services in company workwear
            Communications – blocking of organising campaign
             for fear of alienating agency partner
            Retail – management complaint about contravening
             partnership when issue-based organizing used
Using partnership: organizing workers
   Using the resources of the employer to
    contact & organize workers
       Cardiff survey of organizing campaigns, 98-05
            Recruitment at point of induction: 30%
            Workplace recruitment meetings: 50%
            Use of employer provided list: 66% (N=236)
   Benefits of employer support to organizing
       Cardiff survey of organizing campaigns, 98-05
            Shorter, less resource intensive campaigns
            Organizing around diversity & workplace learning
            Outcomes: majority membership; recognition;
             strengthening of workplace organization
Organizing workers
   Costs of employer supported organizing
     Organizing message more likely to stress
      partnership & individual services
    But
     Campaigns no less likely to use issue-based
      organizing and stress collective strength,
      bargaining power, and protective function of
      unions
     Organizers reassure members employer is
      supportive
     Employer-supported organizing does not lead
      to ineffectual unionism
Questions for discussion
1.   Is there a link between partnership &
     organizing in public services in Wales?
2.   How is the partnership agreement with
     WAG being used to promote organizing?
3.   What are the strengths & weaknesses of
     the approaches adopted?
4.   How might partnership with WAG be used
     to strengthen & extend trade unionism in
     the future?