Yesterday I did house calls for the United Auto Workers (UAW), something I have never done for NUMSA in my twenty odd years of service. The house call goes like this:
When you drive to the home of a member, you have a one pager that records a name and address of the member, his occupation and most importantly it records the conversation that the member has had with the union from up to 3 years previously.
When an official calls to speak to the worker, it is recorded on a piece of a paper that a worker had this to say about working conditions or his/her views about the union. It records if in the opinion of the official, a worker has leadership potential and is not afraid to air his/her views about issues.
The card also talks about the member’s family, whether his/her Mom or Dad was a union member or other family members including a spouse.
In the first house we visited, the potential member who had filled a union card previously (which had expired before the union got majority) the information pack said the wife was a shopsteward for a postal union. The worker was asleep in preparation for night shift and we spoke to his wife. Oh what a great conversation we had with her! We left the meeting invitation with her and also invited her to come to the meeting and you would swear she was gonna make sure he attends. She told us about the local radio station that is conservative that spreads lies that Nissan workers are highly paid and don’t need a union and many workers believe that crap.
We were joined in the lunch by a member who came with his wife. He was an expatriate from CUBA (unfortunately not a communist at all, in fact quite the opposite). His wife was more helpful in encouraging the husband to be in the union and making sure he wears the union shirts to scare management who was victimizing the worker.
That was my experience yesterday. I am off to distribute pamphlets outside the factory now.
Have a great day
For more details of why the president is in the US see http://www.numsa.org.za/article/numsa-delegation-to-the-united-states-us-2013-10-16
News from the Nissan campaign in the US