A week-long, intensive organizing drive May 17-22 expanded UE Local 150
membership from six to 11 of the 16 campuses of the University of North
Carolina and recruited some 100 new dues-paying union members.
UE staff and rank-and-file volunteers from five states came to North
Carolina for the drive.
Training for volunteers included a discussion of how to recruit members and
build the union in a so-called "right to work" state that denies
collective bargaining rights to public-sector workers.
Some 70 small-group meetings took place on UNC campuses around the state,
with attendance ranging form three to 10 workers, mostly during lunch and
break times. Hundreds of pieces of union literature were distributed and
posted throughout the campuses. The week-long presence of organizers created a
movement of meetings and forums for workers to collectively discuss issues.
Many workers signed union cards within sight of their supervisors, in what
could be regarded as either acts of defiance or statements of empowerment.
Some workers gave organizers voided checks on the spot, to immediately begin
dues deduction from their bank accounts.
Daily site debriefings and nightly reports produced vital information on
potential leaders, break sites, key issues and contacts.