The 5 Elements
We have a clear view on what works.
Effective workplace organisation has five main elements:
The GMB must always have a “claim on the table” and adopt a pro-active approach in every workplace and with every employer. Instead of waiting for management to propose changes and then responding, the GMB at work should have its own agenda and keep every employer on the back foot, responding to our members’ demands. GMB members need to know what the union stands for and be involved in deciding the GMB agenda where they work. The GMB at work must go out of its way in every workplace to involve members in decisions that affect them, giving members a vote on every issue we can, and asking them to get involved in the union in any way they can.
The GMB make sure everyone at work knows we exist and what we are campaigning for. Where-ever possible workplaces should adopt their own regular newsletter to keep members informed and involved, to use as a tool for bringing new members in and to deliver better, more local information more quickly.
The GMB Reps in each workplace should know who is joining and who is leaving the job, who is a member and who is not and use this information to talk to potential members in their area regularly about the unions’ work. More up to date membership information is essential. Regular and planned contact with the GMB members is an effective way of encouraging members to become more active in the union themselves and make us stronger at work.
In every workplace and sector we need a clear and credible industrial strategy. But our credibility also depends on the strength of our organisation and the skills for our Reps at work. Members must know where to go and who to contact where they work if they need help, advice or representation. We are confident about the commitment, expertise and ability of our workplace Reps to represent members, set the agenda where they work, find ways to include members and build the union. As much servicing of members as possible should be done by GMB Reps at work. Our training needs to stay focussed on providing ongoing support to allow Reps to do their job.
Everyone at work should see the GMB as being a part of the workplace and in it for the long term. We should replace short term “recruitment drives” with members regularly talking to non members about what the union is doing. Not to see the union – but to explain where we stand on the issues where they work, why they should join and what they can do to support us.