we build organizing committees
Successful organizing campaigns
begin by having a strong employee organizing committee.
A strong organizing committee is the foundation for creating
a powerful, democratic and active union.
In an unorganized, or "non-unionized," workplace:
- Workers have no voice in their working
- Workers are afraid of speaking up to
management for fear of being disciplined or worse losing
- Workers doubt that conditions will ever
change for the better
- Workers become apathetic
conditions lead to a divided workplace where the workers
have no power.
When employees decide to organize a union, it is vital that
a strong internal organizing committee be formed. Building
an active internal organizing committee is not easy. It
takes time, but it is necessary if you want to succeed—campaigns
almost never succeed without them. This model of organizing
builds the “union” before the actual election
process has occurred.
During a union-organizing campaign, committee members are
sought from every area of the workplace and should be representative
of the diverse nature of the workers being organized. The
committee will receive support, training, and all the needed
resources from the NENA. The organizing committee will be
the glue that holds the campaign together as the unionization
process moves forward.
Committee members are the contacts for their work areas.
They keep their co-workers up to date on union campaign
news and answer any questions that come up during the process.
In the workplace, they are up front and strong in their
public support for the union. They are ready to answer questions
that are almost always generated from management’s
"misinformation"—because management will
almost always try to create and peddle “misinformation”
about what the organizing committee is doing and how it
As the organizing campaign moves forward, the committee
will help motivate and unify the members. It will interpret
misinformation and signals from management and help guide
employees to a better understanding of what really is happening
in the workplace. The organizing committee is the foundation
to a well organized workplace.
Heading into an election with a strong “union foundation”
is the key to success. In an organized workplace the workers
will finally attain power. They will have a legally protected
voice that will enable them to address all their working
conditions and their nursing practice issues. They will
be active, hopeful and confident. They will be strong and
united in their efforts to obtain their first contract with
management. They will understand that they, the workers,
ARE the union!
It should be noted that all the methods that the NENA employs
in conducting a sound organizing drive remain applicable
through the whole life of the union that’s been created.
The best contract in the world is just pieces of paper if
there is not a strong unified well-led membership to enforce
it. The process of building the union needs to be a continuous
process that involves all the members.