Building Power Tool Kit
The employers we face today are larger and stronger. Their attacks on our contracts are often more vicious than ever.
One USW response is the Building Power program. This program helps local unions and union councils take the offensive.
The Building Power program involves local union leadership and activists developing a game plan for a campaign.
Although each campaign is unique, communicating with and involving members is critical.
The Building Power program is organized into a series of ten steps:
1. Organize Your Communications & Action Team
2. Analyze Strengths & Weaknesses
3. Identify Issues and Determine Union Goals
4. Create Your Campaign Theme
5. Build Communications & Campaign Messages
6. Determine Your Allies
7. Identify Leverage Targets
8. Employ Unique Strategies and Tactics
9. Design Your Campaign Calendar
10. Evaluate and Adjust Strategies & Tactics
When should your local use the Building Power program?
It’s best to start your campaign at least six months prior to bargaining, but if you’ve got less than six months, it’s still useful.
The more time you have to develop a well thought out plan, the better.
Can I use the Building Power program alone?
Using it requires involving as much of your local union as possible. The first thing to do is pull together a diverse team.
The team would ideally include the president or unit chair, members of the executive board and negotiating committee and a couple trusted union activists not on the negotiating committee.
Since much of the work of contract campaigns will happen during negotiations, you’ll need to involve some folks who are not on the negotiating committee.
How long will using the guide take?
There is no set time limit, but you’ll want to put as much time into each of these activities as is necessary to develop a solid plan of action.
What materials do you need to complete this program?
Mostly you’ll need the Building Power workbook. There are also exercises for each of the ten steps in the Building Power program.
Contact your staff representative if you’d like to schedule Building Power for your local. If you have any questions, contact the Strategic Campaigns department at 412-562-2400.