Your Teamsters organizer will help you and your
co-workers craft an organizing plan. Your organizing
committee needs to be composed of key leaders from each
Department, shift, site or craft.
You will also want to make sure that your committee
reflects the diversity within your workplace. Diversity on
your committee will ensure that the effort reflects the
interests of everyone on the job, not the interests of a
Step 5: Draw a Picture of the Workplace
Itís important to "map out" what the workplace looks like
and who works where. Lists and charts are developed so that
your organizing committee can assess the sentiments of the
whole group and identify work areas where the committee
might concentrate its efforts.
Step 6: Information Is Power
As the organizing committee forms and undertakes some
basic assignments, such as identifying who works with whom,
other committee members will help the Teamsters organizer
make sense of the information including:
Names, titles, positions, departments or sections,
shifts, status (full or part-time), addresses, extensions,
pagers, e-mail addresses or fax numbers.
Departments, sections, staffing requirements, other
unions, supervisory personnel, organizational chart, etc.
All pertinent information, including address, other
sites, including work sites, product lines or services,
customers, labor relations history, competitors, financial
information, parent company or subsidiaries, strategic
partnerships or impending mergers or acquisitions, corporate
attorneys, consultants, vendors or suppliers.
List of community organizations, leaders, interest groups,
employer partners, etc.
Step 7: Issue Identification
The organizing committee begins to identify the issues
that workers care about. These might include having a voice
on the job, better wages, safer working conditions,
discrimination, improved health care or pension, etc. Once
the committee identifies who cares about which issues, it
will work with the Teamsters organizer to develop a game
plan to call attention to these issues. Usually, the
organizer develops informational literature that helps focus
the organizing campaign on issues that relate to the workers
wants and needs.
Step 8: Training & Sign Up
As the organizing committee grows and develops, the
Teamsters organizer will want to train committee members on
what to expect and how to reach out to their co-workers. One
of the most important aspects of the organizing campaign is
when committee members ask co-workers to sign Authorization
Cards. The goal of this project is to secure overwhelming
support and a solid majority of cards before proceeding on
to the election phase of the campaign.
Step 9: The Union Election
The signed cards are used to petition the federal labor
board or authority to schedule an election. Before the date
is set, the labor board will determine which workers are
eligible to vote in the union election. During this time,
the organizing committee must maintain focus on workplace
issues and continue signing up workers.
Once an election date is set, the organizing drive heats
up. Workers continue to recruit union supporters as election
day approaches. Winning requires that the organizing
committee and its supporters stand up to the employer
campaign that is always focused on destroying confidence and
unity. When the union wins, the employer must recognize the
union and bargain a contract.
Step 10: Negotiate!
The organizing campaign continues as workers press for a
first contract. The contract should address the needs and
wants of the workers, from fair wages and job security to
better health care or pension. The contract is negotiated by
worker representatives and their union representative and
forms the basis for more improvements in the years to come