At our most recent General Membership Meeting on Oct. 26, we discussed the following topics (this is a condensed summary of our meeting):
Union History: We discussed the origins of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). In brief, the AFL formed in 1886 and its first president was Samuel Gompers. The AFL initially organized as a craft union, meaning they organized workers based off skills and trades instead of by industry. Because of this, the AFL practiced a considerable amount of exclusionary practices in who they represented (essentially they excluded African-Americans and women from their organizing as white men disproportionately represented workers by skilled trades). Largely because of these practices, the CIO formed in 1935 from within the AFL to challenge its leadership and advocate for more social movement-minded unionism. The CIO was purged from the AFL and became an independent union in 1936. They practiced militant unionism and organized by industries, meaning they believed that every worker within a jobsite should be organized into the same union to generate unity and cross-class alliances. The CIO also initiated many of the early actions of the Civil Rights Movement, and advocated for desegregation and anti-racism long before the Civil Rights Movement gained more traction in the mainstream. Eventually, the CIO would successfully reform many of the AFL’s previous union practices, and the two merged into one union in 1955. For a more complete history of these two unions, see our Resources Page on our website.
Strategic Goals: We briefly discussed our strategic goals as a union this year, which includes: Building Stronger Stewards, Improving Working Conditions, Bettering our Forms of Communication and Education, and Raising Member Consciousness. One early step we have taken as a union to move toward these goals include supporting a new labor-oriented radio program, LabourWave, which airs live on Saturdays at Noon on 88.7 KBVR.
Bargaining Platform: We unanimously ratified our Bargaining Platform! Our slogan for bargaining this year is: CGE Will R.I.S.E. Up! The full platform can be found on our website under recent news. We also discussed the formation of our Bargaining Team for this year’s round of negotiations. We are moving toward bargaining that revolves around two tiers of participants, those in the Core Bargaining Team and those in the Layer Bargaining Team. The Core Team will be more visible and responsible for attending every bargaining session once negotiations begin, and the Layer Team will help our bargaining by doing research, recruitment of attendees and folks that wish to provide testimonials, and also more general forms of outreach. If you are interested in being a part of our Bargaining Team, please email Hazel Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Riccio at email@example.com.
Constitutional Amendment- VP of Social Justice: We voted to approve (with a super-majority in favor) a constitutional amendment which adds a new Vice President Officer to our Executive Council. This officer will be the VP of Social Justice, a position that will be the 8th on our current Executive Council. General information on what this position will entail will be made available on our website, and if you or anyone you know would like to volunteer for this position please notify our union president, Clint Mattox at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Riccio at email@example.com.
Membership Update: Our current membership sits at roughly 1,100 fulls members which is ~61% of our total GAs at OSU.
Open Mic: Many things were covered during our open mic, and I want to apologize for anything left out but some of the items included the need to make our future GMMs more accessible for folks with disabilities. The recommendation was made to setup technology for having folks teleconference into our GMMs and do online voting when applicable. Also the Womxn of Color Coalition is an OSU group with regular meetings. Folks are encouraged to attend these meetings and participate in the work that these folks are spearheading.