The past several years have seen an increase in the magnitude of attacks on the labor movement not only in New York State, but throughout the country. The largest and most troublesome was the U.S. Supreme Court case of Janus v AFSCME that was a right-wing attempt to permanently undermine organized labor and strip away worker's rights. While the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, labor fought back. In order to succeed and become even stronger, it takes tremendous outreach to not only members, but communities at large. After all, when unions fight for the rights of their members, they are also fighting for the rights of those who do not even belong to a union.
Local 1180 put its highly effective Communications Department to work, and created a series of special campaigns targeting members and nay-sayers alike with what a union-free world would look like for workers. It was so effective, that these special campaigns received top honors in labor competitions across the country.
The 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case of Janus v AFSCME was complicated, leaving many members wondering what it meant for them and their families. Local 1180 wanted to make sure everyone understood the implications regarding contracts, negotiations, grievances, benefits, promotions, and more. In addition to President Gloria Middleton, First Vice President Gina Strickland, and Secretary-Treasurer Robin Blair-Batte narrating videos, members themselves came forward to talk about issues that could have potential serious impacts on the general membership, and answered the question "What If We Did Not Have a Labor Union"?
New York State's question to voters in the November 2017 general election was "Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same"? While a seemingly harmless question, most New Yorkers unaware that the outcome could have had far-reaching and devastating effects for decades. Opening up the constitution to haphazard changes is like opening a Pandora's box. Local 1180 lead the way in original outreach materials to make sure New Yorkers knew all the details about a Constitutional Convention. Our ConCon campaign even won first place.
"I'm Sticking With MY Union" became the theme of the year after the Janus v AFSCME case ruled against labor. Local 1180 members didn't care and they were proud to spread the word. Almost 200 members stepped up to display their union pride in a series of photos that were broadcast on the Union's social media pages.
In an effort to further personalize Local 1180's outreach via a direct member-to-member campaign, nine of Local 1180's activist members offered their skills and talent to record videos and provide quotes that were formulated into an ongoing communications campaign. Videos were utilized on social media platforms, at membership meetings, and at site visits, all in an effort to mobilize and organize the troops to become more involved.