[Excerpt] For the last two decades, organizing has continued to be the central focus of the U.S. labor movement. In the past year, the effectiveness of organizing has been influenced by the split in the AFL-CIO, by discussions of labor’s political leverage and strategy in the fall 2006 elections, and by the debate over which groups of workers should be targeted for organizing.
Nearly every top union leader talks about “changing to organize” – committing more resources to organizing and running campaigns more strategically. For the majority of unions, unfortunately, this talk has yet to turn into action. Indeed, most unions are continuing to organize much as they did twenty years ago (Bronfenbrenner and Hickey, 2004). In this article, we’ll look at what’s been happening to union organizing – in education and generally, in Ohio and nationally – and the reasons why these trends continue.
This article will also spotlight research that provides some answers for those looking for a model of successful union organizing.
It is now becoming clear that a new comprehensive model of union organizing is emerging – a model that can be adapted by the OEA and its locals to build membership and influence.