Communicating with the Membership

The tension and pressure of a strike breed rumors and false information. This grows each day as the strike continues.

Companies know this and often try to exploit it. If a striker is misinformed or does not understand the basic issues or the Union's actions, his or her determination weakens. Even worse, they might begin to feel abandoned or "sold out" by the Union. On the other hand, the well-informed worker with a good understanding of the issues and the progress of the negotiations will be the most effective striker. Even better, they will be a rallying point for their co-workers.

These are some things members might want and need to know:

  1. What is happening in negotiations. Keeping people fully informed during negotiations will greatly simplify things later, when the contract has to be explained so the Local can vote on it.
  2. Important changes in the Union's negotiating position, explanations of why such changes were made, and — as clearly and directly as possible — how it affects them.
  3. How to get help (financial and otherwise) from the Local or other agencies.
  4. The Union's answer to stories about the strike that members might have seen in the newspapers or on TV or heard over the radio.
  5. Information about available jobs.
  6. How other people in the Local are doing.
  7. Times and places of strike meetings and contract votes.

It is very important to correct misinformation early. It is even better to anticipate how events might be misunderstood and to put them in the right light before things get off track.

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