- Sample Welcome Conversation
- This is a sample conversation that welcoming committee members may have with new hires. It is meant as an outline; when holding trainings with members, it’s important to help members feel confident about their own conversational ability– and to not worry about sticking to ‘the script.’ Most importantly, welcoming committee members should be encouraged to listen to their co-workers.
- Glossary of Labor Terminology
- This list of basic labor terminology can be helpful to help orient new members. Welcome Committee members can make sure new hires have received this.
- UFCW Activist Passion Survey
- You may task stewards with making sure members fill out this form to gather information on what their interests and passions are, but it may also make sense to have Welcome Committee members get new hires to fill this form out. Just be sure that whoever is responsible for having new hires fill out the survey also understands who they should give the completed forms to. You don’t want to have to ask new hires to fill out the same form more than once, and you also don’t want this important information to get lost.
One of the best ways to connect and build relationships with members is when they’re first hired. And the best situated people to do this are the new hires’ co-workers. At many local unions, stewards fill this role. In others, the role is shared with members who are part of a “welcoming committee.” A welcoming committee adds an additional tier of member leaders at the worksite, alongside stewards. Their role may be limited to welcoming new co-workers or may expand to also communicate with members during bargaining, elections and other key moments.
Some locals that establish welcoming committees spend a few months where the union reps/ internal organizers identify and recruit members and hold a training where they have the opportunity to practice their one-to-one conversation skills. Following this, the welcoming committee members are given the attached accordion flyers and a list of new hires during their shift. Staff people then check in with the welcoming committee members as to how their introductory conversations have gone and troubleshoot together.
It’s critical during this process that stewards are kept in the loop and also learn about issues and ideas raised during the welcoming committee members’ conversations with new hires. Depending on the size of the the worksite and the number of new hires, the welcoming committee’s interactions may be a one-time interaction or series of conversations. In right-to-work states, welcoming committee members may share why their union matters to them and why they decided to join. Welcoming committee members may also keep worksite bulletin boards updated, as well as other tasks, as determined by their own interest, as well as the needs of the stewards and staff. Welcoming committee members often help with recruiting new members to attend new member meetings.
This is a sample conversation that welcoming committee members may have with new hires. It is meant as an outline; when holding trainings with members, it’s important to help members feel confident about their own conversational ability– and to not worry about sticking to ‘the script.’ Most importantly, welcoming committee members should be encouraged to listen to their co-workers.