Organiser training: how to win at work

The Solidarity Federation runs two workplace organiser training courses which have recently been updated. The first is a general course aimed at all workers and a second is specifically aimed at women. Details are set out below.

The Solidarity Federation has been organising workplace organiser training days for a number of years. The training came about partly through disillusionment with courses offered by the traditional unions and a need to offer an alternative, and partly from the recognition that, given the dwindling number of unionised workplaces, there was a need to offer training to an increasing number of workers who have little idea or experience of how to organise against the bosses.

The SF training takes a practical, democratic approach to organising. Based on real disputes and workplace experiences, it aims to show how workers can come together, take action and win. In putting together the training, we have taken into account the fact that in many workplaces management has the upper hand, which can make organising difficult and often pretty scary.

In the course we therefore not only cover the more militant forms of action but go into detail about how workers can go about taking imaginative, but less risky forms of action, as a means of winning disputes and in the process build confidence, self-belief and a common identity among the workforce.

No experience of workplace organising is necessary as the training takes people through the whole workplace organising process.

The training takes place in a fun, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Rather than talking at people, the course aims to get people talking to each other and to share their worries, problems and experiences.

Aware that people often feel nervous in these situations, no pressure is placed on attendees during the course, with people breaking down into small groups to discuss things making it easier to talk.

This more democratic approach has not only proven popular, it has been a tremendous help in developing the course. It allows us to take the experiences of people attending and incorporate them. This ensures that the training is constantly developing based on people’s practical experiences.

Over the last year the Solidarity Federation has also developed a workplace organiser training course specifically aimed at women.

The course not only covers basic workplace organising but also takes into account that women in the workplace not only face exploitative and oppressive managers, but far too often the sexism of the men they work with.

Again using a direct action approach to workplace organising and using real examples, the course sets out how women can organise and take action against, not only the problems they face as workers but also the specific problems they face as women. The course is also run in a fun and friendly atmosphere and also takes the same democratic and inclusive approach to training.

If you are interested in any of the above SF courses or just want to know more please contact get in touch at [email protected]