[biztech-discussion] Re: Moving Forward #2

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 09:13:23 -0600

Thanks Al for taking my concerns and addressing them one by one. I agree
that the AOLTW campaign didn't have enough rank and file involvement. When I
went on the road in the At-Large, I was approached by journalists themselves
that didn't want to be directly involved in AOLTW for fear of losing their
contracts. Any campaign has to be something our rank and file members are
willing to do.

My biggest concern about the committee approach to running a campaign is
that it usually starts off fine. But then when disagreements pop up, and
they always do, it's easy to lose direction. I would hope that anyone who is
going to take a leadership role in the BizTech campaign, such as Susan
Davis, will jump onto the campaign discussions now rather than later. I know
Al and Kenya are working on bringing everyone onboard. I agree that
offshoring affects all our genres, not just BizTech. So I'm reading Al's
post to say that the NEC leadership will be running the campaign as far as
making sure everything gets done. I still think there needs to be one person
ultimately responsible for keeping the campaign on track. Same as the editor
in chief for a publication.

Many thanks to the great members out there that have volunteered to research
and write for BizTech!!! You folks are the best.


> Folks,
> I would like to thank Samantha Clark for her questions, and try to
> address them.
> 1. Campaign Leadership:
> >Who is going to run the BizTech campaign? An ad-hoc committee formed to
> >throw around campaign ideas is not leadership. Someone has to run the
> >campaign. I've seen no postings or support from the current BizTech
> >Co-Chairs. Is the campaign going forward without their direct
> >Why? Who is ultimately in charge of the campaign? What role will the EOVP
> >play?
> >
> I have been tasked by the NWU National Executive Committee(NEC) to pull
> together a group of activists to work with national leadership to plan
> and  implement an NWU strategy on the offshoring issue. This discussion
> list is an effort to bring together members interested in the issue to
> talk strategy and to help formulate a campaign to propose to national
> leadership. I hope to find here activists willing to work long-term on
> the issue. I expect the leadership of the NWU's offshoring work will be
> drawn from activists on this discussion list and will also include the
> External Organizing Vice President of the union, Susan Davis, and
> possibly others.
> While concern about offshoring originated in the BizTech division, which
> did ground-breaking work on the issue and whose members are most
> directly affected by offshoring at the present time, the issue impacts
> all writers. This was indicated by some of the articles in the recent
> special offshoring issue of the American Writer. Andreas Ramos, co-chair
> of the BizTech division, was instrumental in putting together this
> discussion list and supports our efforts. However, he is personally too
> buried in other work to take a leadership role at the present time. When
> I recently spoke to Andreas, for example, he was three weeks behind in
> his mail.
> I also want to say that the NEC feels strongly that national campaigns
> must come out of discussions amongst activists in the union and not be
> simply ordained by national leadership, as has been done in the past
> couple years. We have learned that any campaign that does not have the
> active participation of union members in formulating and carrying out
> the campaign will not go far. This is especially true given the
> difficult financial situation the union is facing at the present time.
> We are extremely fortunate to have part-time staff support from Kenya
> Briggs.
> So for all these reasons, I am encouraging your active participation.
> 2. Research:
> >why isn't the UAW research dept being asked to do our
> >background research? I don't have time to write in-depth white papers as
> >volunteer. Even if I did, it would be months before I finished.
> >
> I think Bruce and Rob have done as well as I can to address this
> question in their recent postings. We are talking about position papers
> that need to make a convincing case, have a factual basis, and be short
> enough for someone interested in the issue to read at a single
> sitting--several pages. The summaries would be a set of bullet points
> that capture the essence of the more in-depth position paper. These are
> important campaign materials.
> 3. Volunteer activists:
> >We're also supposed to be bringing a bunch of other groups
> >onboard. I don't know what other kind of volunteer help you folks have.
> >we've lost one-third of the At-Large membership in the last 6 months. Our
> >current volunteers are being stretched just to handle the load to offset
the volunteers we've lost.
> >
> A credible campaign that can reach out to writers will help win members
> to the union and also win back members who have left. It can also draw
> in new volunteers who have a self-interest in opposing the offshoring of
> their jobs or jobs in their communities.
> 4. Direct Action.
> >Talking about stuff is fine. I would rather see our
> >members asked to do things like a PR committee for BizTech to do the
> >publicizing of our issues in connection with other groups like WashTech
> >Techs Unite. Do I have time to form and run the committee? No. I would
> >like to see plans for actual union organizing of worksites by NWU.
> >
> PR is needed as part of any campaign. But PR in the absence of a
> campaign does not help draw new people into action. Bruce's proposed
> campaign, for example, can involve members and others in very concrete
> ways. And Kenya and I are currently talking to WashTech and Techs Unite
> (initiatives of the Communications Workers of America) to see where
> there might be common  ground.
> I hope these responses address Samantha's concerns.
> Al

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