December 2011

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IBEW activists integrated new media technologies with tenacious shoe-leather campaigning at two breakthrough victories for the IBEW last fal l— campaigns which may provide a blueprint for unions looking to successfully organize workers that many observers had long considered unorganizable.

Both campaigns faced hostile employers and a geographically dispersed work force that made traditional union organizing tactics difficult.

But in Illinois, more than 300 Sears technicians successfully took on their hostile management by tapping into the resources of seven locals and the power of the Internet, while in the Northwest, organizers experimented with new media tools to build solidarity among more than 200 Star West Satellite installers — laying the groundwork for the IBEW's historic election victory last September.

Read on to see how employees overcame steep odds at both companies to come together and build power in the workplace — even in these tough economic times.


Read more: Sears techs overcome distance, resistance to organize

Read more: Satellite workers employ technology for big win

The use of social media in organizing campaigns has helped to level the playing field, connecting workers who are miles apart, yet face the same challenges from employers who deny them a voice on the job.