Saturday, June 28, 2008

More ideas to revitalize the labor movement

Snaps to Wobblie, who started this conversation. I could go on and on with suggestions, but I'll stick to what I think is the most important topic for these five suggestions: "Talking To People Under 50."

  1. Celebrities. In my dream, Kanye West sings "Spaceship" or "Heard 'Em Say" to a crowd, talks a little about the references in his songs to low-wage work, and while we're at it, sells or gives away some Kanye Says Raise Minimum Wage t-shirts.
  2. Unions are pathetic on the internet. Use Facebook and MySpace strategically in organizing campaigns. Nothing like 4,000 shoppers joining a "Boycott [Insert Monster Teen Retailer Here]" group to freak out [Insert Monster Teen Retailer Here]. And come on, update your own websites once in a while. Have a blog. Go nuts.
  3. This has been suggested endlessly, but the more members are seen as part of the process for electing leadership, giving political endorsements and campaign contributions, and targeting companies, the better; c.f. Obama's inclusive, grassroots, "you matter" message that galvanized young voters.
  4. Use your high school and college interns wisely. Don't plunk them into scary salting situations, or stick them behind a desk doing data entry. Get them invested in and excited about what they're doing.
  5. For that matter, don't burn and churn your young regular staffers, who are also often just out of high school or college. We know union leaders should be tough and encourage toughness, but pushing people to the point of no return is no good.


wobblie said...

Word. Up.

These are the sorts of conversations and lists we need more of. I'd add, on point four - pay your freakin' interns.

dr said...

Wait, when did this become a group blog?

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