Step 8 entails making a hardcore assessment of the campaign to determine the likelihood of success. Facts don’t lie and it’s best to be educated on how to give your campaign a fair assessment. How can the organizer determine if there is a fair chance to win a campaign? Here are factors to consider:
What are the issues? Are the issues strong enough to campaign on? Have the workers been unsuccessful in making changes? Issues need to be about more than just money or getting rid of a bad manager. Often the best issues to organize around are fairness, protection and respect.
Is the database completed in all or most areas? (i.e. are there a large amount of missing phone numbers, missing addresses, missing ratings, missing departments, missing classifications, missing personal contact) How many locations are there? Is each location with pertinent information included on the database? Charting your unit on a database ensures your data will be manageable and more accurate.
Committee/Committee Helpers/Key People
Do you have 10% or better (of the total size of unit) to be committee/key people working on the campaign? Are committee/key people distributed in all departments and at each location? Is the union committee willing to work on the campaign more than the anti-union committee? Are the committee/key people following through on assigned tasks? Are the committee/key people doing the following:
- Provides leadership throughout the campaign
- Educates co-workers about the benefits of working union and workers’ rights
- Decides campaign strategies and actions
- Distributes union materials and gets cards/petitions signed
- Makes contact with co-workers through phone calls, home visits and personal conversations in the workplace
- Provides feedback to staff organizers about direction of campaign and status of co-worker support
- Gathers information about the employer, co-workers, working conditions, issues
- Attends regular Committee meetings with strategic purpose
- Acts as a watchdog for employer actions
- Publicly asserts ownership of campaign (name on leaflet, buttons)
Is personal contact being made to all workers? Were contact sheets used when making personal contact to employees? Were the results recorded into the database? Do you know who made the personal contact/rating per employee?
Have all employees been assessed using the union’s rating system? Are each employee’s ratings recorded in the database? Did you record who rated what employee (i.e. was it the organizer or the committee person)? Do you have a majority of yes votes? What percentage of the swing votes can you change to yes votes, and how are you evaluating this? How recent are your ratings?
Have a majority of workers signed Union Authorization Cards? Are the total card signers at 65% or better? How does the rating of each card signer look (i.e. are all card signers rated as a yes vote)? Do you have majority status with card signers in most departments (especially the large departments/classifications)? Are you at majority status with card signers in all locations? Have all your card signers been reached by personal contact more than once?
How long has the campaign been going on (i.e. 6 months, a year?) Is momentum building? Is the turnover rate causing you to lose a lot of card signers? Has card signing slowed down a lot? Have you done all that you can do to secure this campaign?
Have you prepared workers for the employer campaign? How strong is the union busting by the employer? Is the employer doing leaflets, newsletters, giving out perks, and holding captive audience meetings? Has the employer gone as far as disciplining pro-union employees or firing them? Has the employer successfully turned their campaign over to the anti-union committee? Are the signed employees strong enough supporters and ready to withstand the union busting that will come when an election date is set?
Are there existing bargaining units/agreements with this employer? Have the union members in the existing bargaining unit(s) lent their support? Is this the first organizing campaign or have there been others in the past with this employer? Are there promises the employer made during the last campaign that have been broken? If there was an election/campaign in the past, when and what were the results? What kind of turnover rate has there been since the last election/campaign?
Is the employer sensitive to public opinion? Have there been any labor, religious, or community leaders who have helped your campaign by lending support (i.e. writing letters to the employer and/or Board of Directors of the employer, holding media press conferences, radio coverage, rallies, etc). Have issues that appeal to the community been released to the media?