IBEW Local 48 in Portland, OR is using unique techniques to encourage new members to join the union.
In Portland, Oregon, unique organizing techniques are paying off.
Clif Davis/Local 48 Business Manager:
There’s always something to do in organizing. There’s always opportunity, even in a down economy.
We’ve organized 150 people in the past year and a half.
Expanded organizing staff.
Over the last year and a half, I’ve hired four new orgaizers. Now I’ve got an organizing department that’s larger than the business rep department. That’s never happened in this local union.
Terry Reigle/Local 48 Lead Organizer:
Now with five of us, certain people can focus on certain parts of organizing and do a more thorough job.
Remodeled Dispatch Center
In our dispatch office we did a major remodel. We put the IBEW logo pretty good sized out in the front. It faces the main street so that now there was an identity. And we put a window out for organizing and a window out for dispatch. And they’re side by side. And that really was more of a message to members and to the exterior world that organizing is right up there with dispatching in importance. We’re very proud of it. We want that to be the first thing when you walk in that IBEW Local 48 is here to organize you.
Everyone pretty much knows that if I’m not a union guy that’s the window I should go to.
It takes a lot for a non-union person to say I’m finally going to go down to the union hall.
Dedicated Organizing Assistant
I think it’s important to have somebody available at the window that they feel comfortable with. And any intimidation factor that they may have walked in with or perceived is gone immediately.
Dedicated Meeting Room
It’s real common in the non-union world for people to think they’re not going to be welcome here, so I think it just kind of gives them a sense that they’re welcome here.
I think it’s been extremely successful. I think if you really believe in what the mission of the IBEW is you’re going to be successful.