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What Our Opponents Are Saying…

Labor Relations Institute is an anti-union group “dedicated to maintaining the union-free workplace.”  They spend a lot of time and effort helping contractors fight unions.  This is a post from their blog about leveraging the power of social media.  They mention several different tactics which we advocate in class, which might be part of the reason they mention us by name toward the end of the article and warn non-union contractors to beware of our “cutting edge” techniques.

“It’s no secret that unions are way ahead of companies in their effective use of social media tools. Each week there are more and more examples of unions creatively using these tools to connect with workers on organizing campaigns, public protests (like the recent Fight for 15 protests against retailers and restaurants), and contract campaign efforts (like the Hyatt Hurts campaign used by HERE).

LaborNotes reviewed a recent webinar on the use of these tools. It is a must-read for the “state of the art” in the use of social media by unions. The article not only describes multiple recent examples of unions using social media, but also lists a number of the actual tools used to execute these campaigns.

While the article admits that social media must be seen as a facilitator – not a substitute – for face-to-face contact (something we stress to companies with questions about social media) it nevertheless shows the power of the tools. It also shows how unions are learning to counteract company efforts to use social media tools (Never heard of a Twitter Bomb? Check out the article).

Speaking of company efforts to use social media, here is an interesting YouTube video on the legitimacy (well, illegitimacy) of the NLRB. The video, called “The Truth About the NLRB” was produced by a company called CSC Holdings who apparently has an axe to grind with the Board. Probably not the best way to get the Board’s attention, but obviously these guys are way past worrying about that. And I’m sure it felt good to post that video – I’ll call it a YouTube Bomb.

One other site of interest. We’ve had our eye on these guys for a while, but the folks over at Labor Combat posted a great blow-by-blow account of an IBEW local in Toledo going after a charter school construction project. While the campaign did not rely heavily on social media there was effective use of video and pictures that were acquired through some creative means. These videos were used to shut down the construction and prevent the school building from opening on time (and using union electricians to finish up the work). In addition, the way Labor Combat [now Labor Rising] is promoting its training (asking people to tweet its training events, download and share its thought leadership materials) is cutting edge.  Well worth a look, especially if you are in the construction business.”

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