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Cyber Organizing –

Cyber Organizing

What the hell is this?

Labor Rising is developing this concept and is now working with 9 “out of the box” local organizers and is taking an old tool – bottom-up and re-purposing this style of organizing.

Phone numbers are the gateway to communication and the pathway to unlock cyber-organizing. In the 9 campaigns undergoing right now those organizers procured phone numbers from the non-union workers either from a field organizer (salt), which was either overt or covert – a pepper, or contact info from pro-union workers interested in organizing their non-union company.

Using those limited phone numbers the organizers secured a meeting with non-union worker(s) usually at their home or a place they felt comfortable. These are our more traditional one on one meetings to establish a relationship, exchange information and build direction.

In addition to the above reasons in meeting, getting phones numbers of the workers currently working for the employer is very important. These organizers also work to secure phone info on any and all workers the contact may have with workers that are thru-out the community who have worked in our jurisdictions.

From that point on using a mass texting program to establish increasing contact with workers and establishing contact and home visits are what traditionally has been done and is still very vital to any worker campaign.

What separates cyber-organizing from traditional bottom-up is this very important departure from the norm.

Why most bottom-up campaigns fail, is that when the organizer starts to build worker involvement and energy the organizers have traditional had to have the workers meet in groups. This is a very tense time as the workers are in the presence of their peers.

Many if not all are afraid for their jobs and fear their employers and retaliation from that non/anti-union employer once they start meeting in groups.

The non/anti-union employer is very good at turning and scaring employees they discover from those meetings internal sources (snitches) that are union minded.

Despite laws protecting a workers right to organize (which by the way you can throw out the window in the real world these employees live in) employers separate, discipline and fire for union activities.

What is making cyber-organizing a new way to use technology in organizing is that those unions are using a mass meeting platform such as Go To Meeting, Join Me or others to connect workers via the internet.

A mass text with info/link is sent to create energy to attend and how to do it. They can and do also put a url in their mass texts connecting to a mobile website for sharing campaign info, union info or worker outreach.

Once we secure increased phone numbers and build a connection thru one on one’s, all increased activity to build information is done now on those meeting platforms.

The workers do not have to ID themselves as their identity is protected. Only the organizer knows who has connected to any given meeting. Non-union workers are protected from revealing their identity and can ask or type questions to the host organizer.

This is protecting them and is driving the non/anti-union employer in these campaign literally nuts. 2 or the 9 have secured the services of hard core anti-union law firms along with those firms’ costs to defeat this new concept, only to come up empty.

Workers don’t have to travel and be put in what are sometimes compromising situations.

Workers can have their spouse attend the initial or follow up meetings in real time. All of these unions have built documents that they can send out – NOW, in response to questions to the single person or the whole group.

Cyber organizing allows the organizer to keep many worker from many areas informed and up to date.

Bottom-up campaigns can now get to a secret ballot election without the company having a high degree of certainty of who to target and threaten.

Bottom-up and traditional worker campaigns of all types now enter the 21st Century and have a new approach to secure the workers involvement in mediums they are very comfortable with and also protects the workers from unscrupulous employers to a very high degree.

Wins of a higher voter margin may very well be the results which will increase first contract wins. Even for campaigns that fall short, workers are protected and can survive to continue to work with the union and build involvement quicker and more completely for the next round.

Please consider sharing this with your union’s organizer.

Time to win!!!

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising

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