Organizing Tip of the Week: Reach Out to New Employees
One of the simplest and most effective ways to get a person to join the union is to ask them. You might be surprised how many new members would sign up if someone just invited them to. While talking to a co-worker about the union is important any time, you’re more likely to successfully recruit them if you do it sooner rather than later.
Workers need to hear about NFFE, and all of the ways they benefit from union representation, as early and often as possible. If we approach them with our message before they encounter anti-union sentiment, our views will be more likely to stick. We want an employee’s first impression of our organization to be a good one; it is much easier to maintain that positive image than to change a person’s mind once they have been swayed against us.
One of the best ways to do this is to speak to new bargaining unit members at New Employee Orientations. Tell them who you are, what you do, and how they can find you. Having the opportunity to speak to employees when they are still new on the job and in this environment is invaluable. While it is still important to follow up with new employees one-on-one, being able to speak to a large group of them at once and soon after they are hired, rather than having to track them each down individually over time, is a major asset. Many Locals utilize this opportunity very effectively. If you have negotiated this right in your contract, it is imperative that you take advantage of it. If this is not part of your contract, try to negotiate it in the future.
Recognizing the need to educate new workers about the importance of unions and engage them in the movement, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union with whom we are affiliated recently created the Young Machinists group. The group’s mission is to motivate a new generation to become involved in their union and community. For more information on what this new group is doing, and to share the information with your members and bargaining unit employees, you can visit: www.youngmachinists.iamaw.org or www.facebook.com/Young Machinists.
The NFFE National Office has supplies available if you need assistance in planning your presentation. We have PowerPoint presentations you can use, as well as Recruitment Kits and other items that you can hand out. For more information on what is available or to request supplies, please contact your National Organizing Coordinator.
Make sure you are doing everything you can to spread the word to your co-workers TODAY!