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?