The ‘Organizing Model’ Goes Global

Source: Erik Forman, Labor Notes, April 15, 2013

…It turns out the United States doesn’t export only Justin Bieber and Big Macs. We also export the trends of our labor movement. Over the last 15 years—as American management practices have cast a pall over the global economy—unions from the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia have looked to U.S. unions for survival strategies. They came back with “the organizing model” (see sidebar). The term was coined in a 1988 AFL-CIO manual called “Numbers that Count,” which drew a distinction between “the servicing model of local union leadership—trying to help people by solving problems for them” and “the organizing model—involving members in solutions.” The fact that this was a new idea speaks volumes. …