Building our unions

EPSU guide on recruitment and organising 2020

(21 December 2020) Last month EPSU organised a series of online meetings on recruitment and organising with 10 of its affiliates from Romania and Moldova. The aim was to help unions develop their strategies in line with the key recommendations from EPSU’s new guide, Building the union – winning for members, that is published today.

The key message from guide is that: “To reverse the decline in membership unions need to develop new strategies and tactics. Organising means, getting members active and recruiting more members, so that the union can exert power and influence on behalf of its members in the workplace.”

It sets out the main elements that trade unions should address starting with the need to prioritise recruitment and organising throughout the union, mapping workplaces, identifying where the union is strong or weak and where to focus its resources. The guide also contains practical case studies from EPSU affiliates in eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

EPSU general secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan, said: “This guide is a crucial starting point for all our affiliates who want to strengthen their organisations by increasing their membership and activists. This will give us voice in our workplaces and sectors. It is key to building our power so that employers respect workers’ rights, abide by collective agreements and give workers the decent pay and conditions they deserve.”

The guide was written by Greg Thomson, former head of strategic organising at UNISON in the UK with contributions from EPSU’s recruitment and organising team – Agnieszka Ghinararu and Miloš Vlaisavljević.

At the beginning of next year Agnieszka and Miloš will be joined by a new team member, Artem Tidva, who is currently employed as an organiser by the Ukrainian construction union. Together, with the support of Monica Avram, they will be developing EPSU’s recruitment and organising work over the coming years.

There is already a lot planned for 2021, with a view to providing seminars on strategic organising for around 40 unions as well as offering basic training for activists and continuing the series of seminars that have already covered issues like organising in the pandemic and recruitment of young workers.

Armenia Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Georgia Moldova Poland Romania Serbia