In March, the UFCW International Executive Board and Advisory Committee sent a letter to all board and committee members outlining the union’s goals and plans for 2017 in significant detail. Download the document here for the full details.
As this circulates, other unions may develop similar strategies, so this may be a document worth reviewing even if you’re not concerned with the UFCW. Here are the highlights:
- “Work For Less” language. Anticipate seeing this language (referring to Right to Work states) over the next few months - they will be holding a number of workshops and events to emphasize this theme.
- “Value” language. This is another key theme. We’ve been beating this drum for a long time - people just don’t see the value of unions, which is why they are struggling so hard to add members. We believe they are making a huge mistake by focusing on pay, because they really don’t deliver better wages, especially in new contracts.
- More organizing. The goal is 2-3 organizing campaigns per local by July 1. If they meet that goal (big if…) that means 2,000 to 3,000 organizing campaigns. That is an exponential increase in organizing.
- Growing through bargaining. Another goal is to increase membership 2-3 percent through bargaining (adding people to already existing units through contract negotiations). Anticipate this request and consider how it impacts your bargaining strategy (i.e. inoculating other units, what you might get in exchange, etc.)
- More local presence. They are encouraging locals to hold more local events for members and in the community. The express idea here is to get more exposure for more organizing.