The declining union membership, now around 11 percent including public sector, has an impact on the country as a whole. There are huge challenges to the labor movement. Unions yield to prevent layoffs, but concessions make us weaker.
The solution for disaffected membership is internal organizing, training stewards and educating members. Currently, members don’t become involved until there is a strike. We need to bring people in by giving them something to do – action breeds action. All power arises from the membership, in order to bring in the people the union must internally organize. The power of the union depends on the happiness and contentment of the members. We must be connecting the unions with the communities because everything is inter-connected. We must become part of the social movement. When unions exist as a separate structure it causes conflict with other unions. Unions need to look at labor movements in other countries. We need forums within the community to look at issues affecting all unions. We need to create committees, such as an action committee and internal organizing committee, as few people are trained or educated in the history or purpose of the labor movement. Committees can also educate members about social justice and economic issues. We cannot let the diminishing membership diminish the visibility and role in both the community and among the members. Unions have not always engaged in issues that exist in the community, such as the problem with prisons and systemic racism. To connect within the communities, unions need to support organizations within the community, that is have a Labor/Community program. The Right to Organize can only work with a functional union.
We need to fight for and protect the right to organize and support card check recognition. We need to develop internal organizing committees within existing unions in an effort to increase and encourage member participation and involvement and as a means of developing a true rank-and-file led organization. We need to join with community organizations as a means of strengthening both the labor and social justice movements. We need to support international working class solidarity and fair trade by joining international and regional labor organizations.
This topic was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by asej.
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