Building Trade Union Power - Best Practices

In this section we provide a platform for affiliates to exchange their experiences of building trade union power.

We aim to critically evaluate, to identify success factors and to draw valuable lessons from less successful campaigns.

Our experience shows that successful campaigns tend to be built on several elements:

  • Creating a good data base: Every organising campaign needs a good data base with all contact data. Trade union organisers/activists should contact workers directly by phone or through other communication means.
  • Forming a good narrative: Be aware of workers’ specific needs before talking to them and build your communication on these needs.
  • Communicating through strategic listening: prepare your communication team to become good listeners with specific training and psychological guidance.
  • Finding good issues: The issues of a campaign need to meet needs and demands of workers, thus must come from the workers.
  • Keeping the momentum: Use phone calls for a bridging period when you cannot meet in person. In the long run, a good campaign requires face-to-face meetings.
  • Building trust: Bring workers to understand that union membership is in their best interest. Workers solving their problems together is key.

Best practices

OS KOVO CZ: This campaign is to build up a new and stronger trade union structure with professional organisers in an automotive supplier using elements of digital organising in Czechia.

Teollisuus liitto FI: MISSION COMPLETED - the digital organising campaign at the biggest media and printing company in Finland was a full success for our members.

ACV-Metea BE: Re-member campaign is large-scale member campaign for recruitment, retention and member care (supported by both militants and staff) in Belgium.

Unionen SE: Anticipating the Covid-19 crisis when communicating with employees in Sweden.

IF Metall SE: Recruitment and retention with a stronger focus on members.

FNV Procesindustrie NL: Keeping the focus on membership and putting members first.