Resolution No. 10: Building Union Power

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WHEREAS, the power of our union is built on a foundation of solidarity and unity in both the private and public sectors; and

WHEREAS, we are confronting the greatest economic inequality in generations, turning every contract negotiation into a fight for fairness; and

WHEREAS, hardline employers seek to gut our contracts by freezing pay, slashing benefits and eliminating job security through aggressive contracting out, thereby jeopardizing the gains we have achieved through decades of collective bargaining; and 

WHEREAS, we need to initiate pro-active campaigns to build bargaining power, increase internal strength through organizing at our workplaces and be prepared for labor disputes which result from employer’s bad-faith bargaining.


  1. We urge local unions to utilize the Building Power program, developed by our Strategic Campaigns Department, as a crucial resource when preparing for challenging bargaining.  Training with local unions focuses on the stages of a bargaining campaign: building communication tools, engaging and educating members, and taking action to support the union’s goals. Communication and Action Teams (CATs), new tools and tactics, like digital tools and the “bat light” are key ways we enhance our capacity to mobilize our membership to promote and defend our rights.
  2. We will coordinate comprehensive contract campaigns where we have industry or company-based pattern agreements and master contracts, ensuring members are connected and coordinating solidarity actions across multiple locations to demonstrate our union power.
  3. We will build union power through strategic organizing, identifying workplaces in our existing sectors and new sectors of the economy where employers are taking advantage of workers and state resources, threatening our existing membership and exploiting workers, and we will develop campaigns to organize workers and win fair contracts that raise labor standards across these industries.
  4. We are committed to reaching fair contracts in a timely way, but we must be prepared for potential labor disputes, when necessary.  In the U.S., all of our local unions can access our Preparing for a Labor Dispute program which shares best practices for pressuring employers, maintaining solidarity and aiding our members and their families when engaged in a strike or lockout. And when we are forced into a labor dispute, we will stand with and support local unions in building strike committees, running strong picket lines and exerting maximum pressure on employers to reach a fair agreement.
  5. Fostering strong ties within our communities contributes greatly to building union power.  We will use the community outreach tools of the Building Power program to actively engage with allies and the community-at-large, carrying out good works projects which strengthen our communities and working with local and national allies that share our vision of organizing for economic and social justice.
  6. Solidarity knows no borders and our societies have never been more globally connected.  We will continue to find common ground with unions and labor organizations around the world, forging alliances, sharing information and coordinating activities designed to expand our collective power and increase our leverage when dealing with multinational employers.

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