GMB@Work Organising Policy

An unorganised workplace is more than just a loose collection of individual members who happen to share the same employer.  GMB's concern must be more than simply recruitment.  GMB members' strength comes from building strong workplace organisation with good communication and enough Workplace Organisers.  Workplace Organising is about being good at recruitment, retention and representation.

GMB's goal is to have the strongest possible GMB organisation in every GMB workplace where GMB Workplace Organisers are experts at recruiting new members, representing members and retaining members in the union.

In these workplaces, GMB members are in control of the union and set the agenda collectively, speaking with one voice, not many.  The GMB Workplace Organisers know more than their employer does about who is coming and going and how the workplace is organised.

The GMB@Work National Organising Strategy and the training our Workplace Organisers receive is built on five policies:-

  1. The workplace is the building block of GMB - The workplace is where GMB members are best able to protect themselves and improve their working conditions.  Campaigning, media work, legal work and political work in the GMB offices and in Whitehall and Westminster are important but they can't deliver for GMB members if the union is weak and ineffective in the workplace.
  2. Each workplace should be organised as if a ballot for action was due - On the rare occasions when employers don't listen and GMB want to ballot for industrial action, the union needs to be very highly organised to meet with all the legal requirements.  This means GMB members' correct addresses must be known and they are fully paid up members, regular meetings are held, regular newsletters are written and distributed and non-members are asked to join to support the union.  GMB policy is to aim to organise every workplace like this, every day.
  3. The employer has different interests than GMB members - GMB will sometimes make common cause with an employer.  To get more funding from government in public services for example.  But GMB recognises that on a day to day basis it is the bosses who employ GMB members who cause most of their problems and that people join GMB to resolve those problems.
  4. It is the process of industrial action that builds GMB not the result - Few working people join the GMB out of gratitude for a good pay deal in the post or for protecting a colleague from unfair dismissal.  Most people join GMB and get active out of fear of what is happening to them today and in hope of what can be achieved through the union tomorrow.
  5. People are strongest when they organise themselves - GMB members are GMB.  They must organise themselves around the problems that they and potential members face wherever they work.  It may be a factory, care home, school or office.  GMB members must control the union where they work as much as possible and GMB will support this process through the work of full time GMB Officers, GMB branches and GMB@Work training.