In between writing, I spend a considerable amount of time consulting, almost all of it with unions in the USA and increasingly, outside the country, too. I also work with community based groups and occasionally foundations. If I had to reduce my consulting work to one concept, it’s helping people build and sustain high participation organizations. I believe participation is the key to every strategy available to social movement organizations. I help folks with strategic planning, staff and leadership skill development, how to understand and create a comprehensive campaign based on first doing a power structure analysis, negotiations and bargaining training, and lots of other way to build high participation organizations. If you are interested, please contact me. The photo on this page shows me during a caucus in a day of union negotiations. This is what I mean by “big bargaining teams.” We had over one hundred workers attend negotiations this particular day back in 2006. Collective bargaining, done in an open and transparent manner, can be a fully transformative and powerful experience for workers. That’s why the big business groups are attempting to abolish collective bargaining, it works.
Unifor Conference, August, 2015, Keynote Speech
The theme for most of my speeches these days is summed up on the slide in the photo below, which is that participation, high participation, is a prerequisite to building real power. Participation alone is not sufficient mind you, but it is key to everything else we do to beat the organized rightwing.