What is Internal Organizing?

Do you find yourself wishing that more members were involved in the work of the union? If you could get more members involved – talking to their co-workers and making plans to deal with workplace problems – what kind of impact would that have on the success of your union?

Internal organizing is fundamentally about building a union culture in your workplace. It is about turning the mindset of “What’s the union going to do about this” to the mindset of “Let’s work on this problem together.” It is about changing the view many members have that the union is like an insurance policy or a vending machine.

The number one way to get the members to stop thinking of the union as a vending machine is to stop acting like one. Internal organizing – or think of it as union capacity building – is about breaking down the old vending machine culture and replacing it with a culture of workplace democracy and involvement.

You might say, “This can’t be done in my union, there are too many obstacles.” However, consider this: Dozens of unions that have been successful at internal organizing and building a stronger organization started from where your union is right now. They did it; you can do it.

Now imagine what you could accomplish if you had even just a handful of members or leaders who were deeply trained in the ways of internal organizing. If only there was a “master class” on internal organizing to which your union could send some of its workplace leaders.

There is. February 25-27, 2019 at the School for Workers in Madison, Wisconsin. Imagine the impact. Click here to learn more about the class.


January 2019 | By: Professor Don Taylor