HVCLC Movement Building Workshop AGENDA
Saturday, February 7th, 2015, 10AM-3PM
Laborers’ Local 499 Hall, 3080 South Platt Rd., Ann Arbor
(Ian) Welcome Introduction breakout
- Overview of the program
- “Sit with someone you do not know, introduce yourself and share with them why you’re here”
(David) History & Common Sense Economics (CSE) 10:15-12:00PM
- Start with Barnett quote => “Break into groups of 5, analyze the quote and think of examples that contributed to decline of labor movement in our time” (15 minutes)
- Report back from groups on factors causing decline (10 minutes)
- Reveal that Barnett wrote those words in 1932 => history, focusing on how the movement was rebuilt between 1932-40, despite the terrible economic conditions => lessons for those years that are still relevant to us
- In our own time, when we follow those lessons, we can win big too: national victories (paid sick leave, minimum wage, restaurant workers in San Fran) – this part will draw on CSE materials as appropriate, and can end by noting that we’ll be doing CSE modules in future workshops
Break for Lunch 12:00-12:30PM
- “please sit with someone new and get to know each other”
Panel for local victories 12:30-1:15PM
- WeRoc, GEO, IBEW, Nurses union share small and large success stories.
- 5 minutes for each panelist then open discussion.
(Kelly and Tad) Model Organizing Conversations / Breakout
- Intro (15 minutes): Panel stories showed us how working together we have won important victories that could not have been achieved by any individual. To win more and bigger victories like these, we need to get many more people – union members and non-members actively involved in our labor movement. How?
- We can’t rely on paid staff and elected officers, essential though they are => we must build our capacity for mass action, like we saw in the 1930s labor movement. How?
- Through one-to-one organizing conversations between member-activists like yourselves and less active members and potential members. How do these conversations go?
- Explain who you are, why you’re committed to this work
- Ask open ended questions about the person you’re talking with that will enable you to figure out their core issues and motivations
- Have one or more simple “asks” that can be adapted to the interests, passions, skills and schedule of the person you’re talking with
- Your “ask” can vary: it could be to participate in an activity of your local union; to come to the HVCLC retreat that Ian will describe in a moment; to come to the next HVCLC workshop; or just to meet and talk again soon
- Tad and Kelly briefly demonstrate an effective conversation (15 minutes)
- Then breakout members in groups of 3, each person role-plays for 5 minutes. (30 minutes to rotate through all three with feedback for each)
- To learn the skills of doing good one-to-one organizing conversations, you need to practice; and to build our movement, we need to have a lot of people having a lot of these conversations – so we’re going to get started! (20 minutes)
- Please identify three people who you are going to do an organizing conversation with in the next month – Fill out your contact info, the names of the three people you’ll have organizing conversations with, and your relationship to these people
- You want to do the first conversation ASAP, while what we’ve been talking about is still fresh in your mind, so … call your three people now and get at least one conversation set up for next week!
(Roland) Working America
- Unions are the core of the labor movement, but the movement can’t be just about unions when only one in ten working people is able to join a union in their workplace
- To build our movement to the strength we need to change the way the economy works, so that it benefits all working people, we need to organizing non-union members into the labor movement through Working America (WA)
- One excellent way to encourage them to join WA is to find out if the person you’re talking to has friends or family who don’t have adequate health care; if some don’t, you can share this one-page handout with them, explaining how they can get help in understanding what kinds of subsidies they may be able to get under the Affordable Care Act and which of the many insurance programs out there would be best for their families.
- Roland will give a very brief overview of how the WA member health care services work – you don’t have to take a lot of notes – the handout gives you the web site link where all of this information is available to you as well as Roland’s contact info — you can test out the system to see how it works, and contact Roland if you need further information.
(Ian) Upcoming retreat and next HVCLC workshop
- RETREAT: One thing I hope all of you will want to do is come to our HVCLC Retreat on March 21st or 28th (date to be confirmed) – at that retreat, we’re going to figure out together what we think our top priorities for the labor movement in Washtenaw and Livingston counties ought to be
- Say a little about how we’ll do that
- NEXT WORKSHOP: I hope you’ll also be able to come to our next workshop [one of the Saturdays in April – precise one to be determined soon], where we’ll have a series of activities designed for those of you who came to this retreat, to debrief your organizing experiences and further develop your skills; and to provide the intro to organizing you got at this workshop to the people who you invite to come to this 2nd In the morning, veterans and newcomers will meet separately; in the afternoon, after lunch, we’ll bring the two groups together and for some common discussion, before finally splitting off into groups by union or affinity group to make organizing plans for the two months before the next movement building workshop