A union organizer is responsible for leading the efforts of a group of employees who have bonded together to strengthen their voice in the workplace. Unions often focus on improving work environments, increasing wages, negotiating work hours, and acquiring benefits, and meetings are also held with union members and leaders to address concerns and develop plans of action.
Union organizers must be able to engage workers and motivate them to take action, and it's often necessary to serve as a connection between union members and their employers and bargain on the members’ behalf. When negotiation efforts have failed, union organizers may need to organize efforts such as petitions, strikes, lobbying, and media outreach, and research and analyses may also be necessary to gather data related to employers.
These organizers may work with documents such as payroll records and work schedules, and it may occasionally be necessary to use employment law to make official complaints, so strong knowledge of laws related to employment and unions is important. They may also market unions to attract new members. Prior experience is often necessary for this position, though apprenticeships for union organizers are widely available. The job often requires working long and irregular hours, including weekend and night hours, and some visits to homes and work sites are necessary, so a valid driver's license and the ability to travel are also important. Union organizers must also be able to work well with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.