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Union VoicesTactics and Tensions in UK Organizing$
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Melanie Simms, Jane Holgate, and Edmund Heery

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451201

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451201.001.0001

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Union Organizers and Their Stories

Union Organizers and Their Stories

(p.90) 4 Union Organizers and Their Stories
Union Voices

Melanie Simms

Jane Holgate

Edmund Heery

Cornell University Press

This chapter introduces the work of organizers, who they are, and what they do. As specialist actors in the process of organizing, their training and work experiences inform a great deal about how organizing is managed and focused in British unions. Organizers are at the sharp end of the difficulties and tensions inherent in trying to manage a cultural shift in unions toward organizing activity. They have competing views about how these tensions can and should be addressed, and they are, generally, a highly reflective group of practitioners. The chapter considers the work they do and what it says about how British unions approach organizing. Their challenges, stresses, and dilemmas, as well as victories and failures tell a great deal about how tensions are managed.

Keywords:   organizers, organizing, British unions, cultural shift, organizing activity

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