Sunday 10 February 2008

UNITE organising strategy

One of the more interesting debates arising from the merger of Amicus and TGWU to form UNITE is about what organising strategy the new union should adopt. The unions which formed Amicus had a variety of approaches, while the TGWU under Tony Woodley had adopted a strategy heavily influenced by the experience of the SEIU in the USA.

An overall Amicus strategy was agreed by the NEC on 18th July 2007, and is summarised in the NEC minutes:

94/07 Organising Strategy

Paul Talbot AGS and the General Secretary reported on discussions with the TGWU Section concerning a Unite organising strategy.

Organising was central to the merger agreement. Amicus strategy for some time had been to set a national recruitment target of a 1% increase in new members per month per region and sector. All full time officials were required to identify two workplaces for recruitment and organisation development. Regional Secretaries lead this work with input from National Officers and the Head of Organising. In recent weeks Amicus had established an integrated national organising team.

The TGWU Section had two campaigns – one based on achieving 100% membership lead by Regional Secretaries and the other based on their National Organising Unit through 80 organisers. The unit had a substantial budget and was currently targeting meat production, building services, logistics and civil air transport.

Over half of Amicus recruitment was currently in eight areas – health, finance, publishing, media, newspaper and packaging, community and not for profit, construction, youth, IT and Business Services and Civil Air Transport. Amicus would also wish to continue to pursue the strategy above concentrating on the eight sectors and to use the TUC Organising Academy where appropriate.

There's a section on the TGWU web site giving information about the TGWU organising strategy. There's also a document on the Union Ideas Network web site.

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