Last week the National Workers Union of St Lucia hosted a major step in a new era of organising. The Caribbean tourism organising project - which is a joint venture with the ITF and Dutch union FNV - is focused on workers building union strength and digital capacity across the region.
The workshop was designed for union digital practitioners, organisers, campaigners, membership officers and others wanting to explore how unions can create a digital-first approach to organising, and where there are opportunities for this to happen. The programme also allowed participants to explore what is working in digital union organising so far and how to plan and execute digital organising campaigns that engage new and younger members.
David Massiah, ITF tourism chair and general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers' Union, said: "The two-day workshop in the area of digital organising for Caribbean trade unions was very engaging from the beginning on the first day. The sessions of the workshop had a hands-on approach which garnered the attention and participation of all attending."
"Gareth Theobald from the ITF youth department brought his knowledge and experience of international best practice in digital engagement, and each participant benefited strongly from this experience. His method during the workshop in engaging the participants, some of whom had varied knowledge of IT, must be commended. The launch of this project in using the digital approach has given new meaning for Caribbean trade unions in their organising campaigns. This will clearly afford Caribbean unions the opportunity to bridge that gap in reaching new and younger membership."
The workshop concluded with participants working together to build a visual identity to represent their work, as well as agreeing a mission statement:
Develop and build online organising plans and learn how to implement them within our unions
Continue to expand our digital organisers' network on social media to build a strong digital Caribbean taskforce
Engage and Identify individuals who will help build and support our movement
- Use the digital skills learned to build strategies to win in our union work
- To empower Caribbean Trade Unions to enhance organising and trade union activities through digital networking