The pandemic – the organising and recruitment challenge for trade unions

EPSU Recruitment & Organising Webinar December 2020

(16 December 2020) 64 trade unionists, organizers, union officers and activists, from more than 50 unions and 30 countries took part in the second webinar of EPSU’s recruitment and organizing (R&O) network. This addressed the question: “Can we organise in the middle of pandemic?”

The main aim of the webinar was to exchange on innovative trade union responses to organizing and recruitment during the pandemic. Despite the challenges, there are many examples of unions managing to increase membership. During the webinar several were presented by two speakers:

John Wood of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the UK explained how the TUC was running an online campaigns platform for the it member organisations at He said that unions have been using the tools to engage workers during the pandemic and move them towards online organising activity. There had been successful online campaigns in the Wetherspoons pubs company and in Greencore, a sandwich producer. These had mobilised many workers and outside supporters, as well as organising and recruiting new members. Each involved some basic steps: present the campaign online; create an online petition; arrange a zoom call and then do individual follow-up (phone, whatsup, etc.).

There is more information here and in the John’s presentation.

Cosmin Andreica of the Publisind public administration union in Romania explained the success of his union in reaching out to police workers during the pandemic and recruiting new members using digital tools. In 2020 his union has grown by 15% as a result of using as many tools as possible to reach out members and non-members. This started with getting great media coverage, leading to their web site (voted no. 1 in Romania in the category of unions and NGOs) with an online membership form  that can be completed in six seconds.

There is more information in Cosmin’s presentation and at:

The next webinar will focus on recruiting and organizing students and is planned for mid February 2021.

Don’t forget to sign up to EPSU’s R&O network by sending an email to: [email protected]