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Anarchists in Portland organizing on protest on may day

Organizers employ various methods to secure recognition by the employer as being a legitimate union, the ultimate goal being a collective bargaining agreement. The methods can be classified as being either top-down organizing or bottom-up organizing.[1]

Top-down organizing focuses on persuading management through salesmanship or pressure tactics. The salesmanship may include offering access to resources such as to a well-trained and skilled supply of labor or access to union cartels. Pressure tactics may include Commonwealth spelling) is a specific type of trade union member (often elected) or an appointed union official. A majority of unions appoint rather than elect their organizers.[citation needed]

In some unions, the organizer's role is to recruit groups of workers under the organizing model. In other unions, the organizer's role is largely that of servicing members and enforcing work rules, similar to the role of a shop steward. In some unions, organizers may also take on industrial/legal roles such as making representations before Fair Work Australia, tribunals, or courts.

In North America, a union organizer is a union representative who "organizes" or unionizes non

In some unions, the organizer's role is to recruit groups of workers under the organizing model. In other unions, the organizer's role is largely that of servicing members and enforcing work rules, similar to the role of a shop steward. In some unions, organizers may also take on industrial/legal roles such as making representations before Fair Work Australia, tribunals, or courts.

In North America, a union organizer is a union representative who "organizes" or unionizes non-union companies or worksites. Organizers primarily exist to assist non-union workers in forming chapters of locals, usually by leading them in their efforts.

Organizers employ various methods to secure recognition by the employer as being a legitimate union, the ultimate goal being a collective bargaining agreement. The methods can be classified as being either top-down organizing or bottom-up organizing.[1]

Top-down organizing focuses on persuading management through salesmanship or pressure tactics. The salesmanship may include offering access to resources such as to a well-trained and skilled supply of labor or access to union cartels. Pressure tactics may include picketing with the intention of embarrassing management or disrupting business, as well as assisting the government in investigating employment law and labor law violations.[2] A strict enforcement of these laws might result in fines and might serve to hurt the violator's chances in a competitive bidding process. Top-down organizing is generally considered easier than bottom-up and is practiced more in the construction industry.[3]

Bottom-up organizing focuses on the workers and usually involves a certification process, normally overseen by a labor relations board such as the NLRB in the U.S. The process entails either a secret ballot election or, in some cases, a card-signing effort (called card check). In either case, should a majority of the employees agree to union representation, the results bind the company to recognize and negotiate with the union. Normally, both sides are given a chance to campaign for or against unionization, though management has a decided advantage due to their greater access to the employees, as well as management's inherent ability to discipline or terminate employees. It is in this electioneering model where the organizer really organizes: arranging meetings, devising strategy, and developing an internal structure known as an organizing committee. It is from the pool of activists recruited to the organizing committee that the union typically later draws its shop stewards. Though some mistake organizing as strictly being a recruitment effort, numerous obstacles emerge which require more than simple enlistment and promotion of the union. During organizing, management has greater means to reward or punish workers, far overshadowing methods available to the union.[4][5] For this reason, in most countries, laws such as the U.S. National Labor Relations Act, guarantee the rights of workers to seek union membership and forbid management's use of undue influence such as bribes or threats. Nonetheless, such charges are hard to prove and the labor move

Top-down organizing focuses on persuading management through salesmanship or pressure tactics. The salesmanship may include offering access to resources such as to a well-trained and skilled supply of labor or access to union cartels. Pressure tactics may include picketing with the intention of embarrassing management or disrupting business, as well as assisting the government in investigating employment law and labor law violations.[2] A strict enforcement of these laws might result in fines and might serve to hurt the violator's chances in a competitive bidding process. Top-down organizing is generally considered easier than bottom-up and is practiced more in the construction industry.[3]

Bottom-up organizing focuses on the workers and usually involves a certification process, normally overseen by a labor relations board such as the NLRB in the U.S. The process entails either a secret ballot election or, in some cases, a card-signing effort (called card check). In either case, should a majority of the employees agree to union representation, the results bind the company to recognize and negotiate with the union. Normally, both sides are given a chance to campaign for or against unionization, though management has a decided advantage due to their greater access to the employees, as well as management's inherent ability to discipline or terminate employees. It is in this electioneering model where the organizer really organizes: arranging meetings, devising strategy, and developing an internal structure known as an organizing committee. It is from the pool of activists recruited to the organizing committee that the union typically later draws its shop stewards. Though some mistake organizing as strictly being a recruitment effort, numerous obstacles emerge which require more than simple enlistment and promotion of the union. During organizing, management has greater means to reward or punish workers, far overshadowing methods available to the union.[4][5] For this reason, in most countries, laws such as the U.S. National Labor Relations Act, guarantee the rights of workers to seek union membership and forbid management's use of undue influence such as bribes or threats. Nonetheless, such charges are hard to prove and the labor movement believes the entire process to be slanted against them in enforcement and interpretation of labor laws.[4][6] Sometimes, organizing involves legal wrangling over issues such as voter eligibility. In such cases, issues are often settled by appeal to the Labor Board who serves, essentially, as a referee during the process. Intrigue during heated campaigns is not uncommon. In various cases, one or both sides have used spying and information-gathering techniques tantamount to industrial espionage.

Organizers must be determined, charismatic, and persuasive individuals able to sway groups to action under trying circumstances when jobs are on the line.[7] Organizers must be strong enough to stand up to constant confrontation and must be willing to take big risks. Since failure rates of organizing campaigns are high, "burn-out" among organizers is prevalent. Organizers frequently work under the constraints of limited resources (see sections on organizing as cause and controversies).[8][9]

Cause within a cause

Within the labor m

Within the labor movement, there is some resistance to organizing, though more in deed than in word. Organizing can be seen as a drain on scarce resources with insignificant returns and with results tenuous.[11] Most unions in the U.S. adopt a service model and eschew organizing. In transient industries such as construction, an increase in the supply of labor from newly organized shops may cause the supply of jobs to dwindle below what an increased membership can absorb.[12]

Most disputes between unions are jurisdictional (territorial). Union jurisdiction is based on geographic scope, craft, jurisdictional (territorial). Union jurisdiction is based on geographic scope, craft, industry, historical claim, and compromise. Unions have overlapping jurisdictions. Critics within the labor movement have blamed the movement itself for the fractious effects of union-on-union competition and perceived issues of raiding. Expansionism and the scramble for members in organizing programs bring to light these border issues.

Opponents of organizing, mainly in management and business, argue that unionization divides employees against their employer and results in increased costs. Such accusations are not entirely without foundation: Indeed, a successful organizing campaign usually demonstrably benefits the labor at the expense of management. Critics will often circulate horror stories about plant closures and retaliatory firings to discourage union activity and uptake among the workers. Real or imagined, such horror stories are taken as warnings and have a chilling effect on voting. Though illegal,[13] retaliatory terminations remain a problem for organizers to overcome.[14] Fear is the leading obstacle to organizing.[15]

In bottom-up organizing, management and labor are pitted against each other and management often schedules retaliatory, aggressive tactics in an effort to break the chapter, called "union-busting." The intention of such union-busting may be to "nip it in the bud" before getting locked into a costly collective bargaining agreement. Management may feel that the organizing campaign encourages and capitalizes upon worker disobedience and perceived disloyalty.[16] For this reason, management may hire anti-union consultants or lawyers known as "union-busters" or "union avoidance consultants." With the goal of thwarting organizing, union-busters typically have a two-pronged approach: firstly, management will cut deals with individual workers to betray the union and secondly, to exploit loopholes in labor law in an effort to derail or sandbag the election process. The emergence of union-busting as an industry is a relatively new phenomenon and is described in Martin Levitt's book Confessions of A Union Buster.[17] Prior to the emergence of the union-avoidance industry, practitioners were mainly "goon squads" also used for strike-breaking.[18] In the U.S., the largest and most well-known "goon squad" for hire was the Pinkerton Detective Agency,[19] still active today, though in a different capacity. William W. Delaney's "My Father Was Killed By Pinkerton Men" is a song about the violence that often surrounded early American labor strife.

Organizing in popular culture