Solidarity Sunday: Give Them What They Want
When it comes to the number one priority in a career, young workers used to talk about earning potential, now there's a new buzz word that has crept to the top of the list. A recent survey published by the New York Times, highlighted over 1400 young people and asked them about their top job search priority: 73% chose "stability".
If you think about it, it makes sense. We're talking to high school students, organizing young workers from the non-union sector, and talking to a generation that came of age during the COVID pandemic, inflation, and layoffs. This is arguably the most unstable environment in the last hundred years. It has a profound effect on what they deem important, and it shapes their very world view. It contributes to the mental health stresses they feel every day.
So how do we as local unions speak to this felt need in a business where the very nature of our work moves toward the completion of a project and a potential layoff? We talk about things we can provide.
Here are a few operative buzz terms you can use to speak to this felt need in your marketing, organizing efforts, on your websites, and in your social media messages. Talk about the stability of being a member of an organization that has been around for decades (many locals for over 100 years). Create video stories of solidarity and having each other's back. Show them the certainty and relevance of the training and institutional knowledge we offer that no one can take away from them. Create graphics showing the guaranteed pay raises as they move through the apprenticeship track. Talk about the safety and security of having the same insurance card and benefits regardless of employer. Record your retirees talking about the reassurance of working with an organization that still has a pension. Show your history and legacy of the power plants, stadiums, data centers, and hospitals that make a difference in your communities.
If we are going to continue to attract young people as future union members, we must speak to this need of stability. In other words, we need to give them what they want.
Do You Host Events to Raise Money for Your Local?
Many locals we work with host golf tournaments, bowling tournaments and other events to raise money for the welfare funds of the union. Do you solicit for sponsors for your events? Are you looking to add value to vendors who do business with you to raise more money? Podcasts are a great way to do it. We can produce a podcast for you to host your vendors as a way to help them get the word out to your members, and it gives you another avenue to generate more sponsorship dollars for your local. Ask us how we can help you do this for your Local. Here's an example of one we recently published.