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Strength in numbers.

When you involve the members in solving problems or winning improvements, a lot of avenues open up.

Of course, mobilizing your members requires continuing, direct personal communication with every worker, but as an SEIU steward you already know that.

1.Just involving the members can sometimes bring management to a solution. And when the members are involved, management will know it, even if they pretend not to.
2.If management chooses to play dumb, showing unity through workplace actions (petitions, rallies, "button days," for example) can exert a lot of pressure where it counts.
3.Organizing community support can tip the balance. This is where your coalition partners (churches, teachers, community action people) can exert some (or a lot of) leverage.
4.With member support, you have a better chance of getting your message to the news media. You'll be able to generate good publicity about the union and the work your members do if you're able to push the right buttons. (Push the wrong ones and this can boomerang right back on you.)
5.Elected officials can sometimes be induced to twist management's arm(s). That's one reason we have our political action programs. Politics affects everything we do as workers, and everything we receive (or don't receive) from government.
6.Government agencies. This generally takes approximately forever, but the threat of government red tape can sometimes frighten the most ferocious employer.