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  • Writer's pictureDorothy Snyder

Unions In The Storage Room? A Path Forward For Canadian Unions In The Digital Age.

A message's potential remains untapped if it remains hidden.

Imagine an important Union message was placed in a storage room......


union



As a former Union Leadership Member and Canadian Union marketing business owner, I've witnessed the ebb and flow of the labour movement's influence across Canada and worldwide.

" From the bustling streets of Toronto to the scenic landscapes of British Columbia, the challenges facing Canadian unions in this digital age are unprecedented and transformative1.


Today, I'm here to dive deep into the heart of these challenges, exploring how embracing change can pave the path forward for our unions and their invaluable missions.


The Changing Landscape of Unionism

"For decades, the towns and villages of Kawartha Lakes were home to thousands of unionized workers whose full-time jobs provided a living wage and benefits offering those people a place in the Canadian middle class."

This opening line from a recent article in the Lindsay Advocate struck a chord with me. It beautifully encapsulates an era when unions held the key to stable livelihoods and strong communities. But times have changed. The rise of globalization, automation, and policy reforms has reshaped the very fabric of our workforce, demanding an agile and strategic response from our unions.


The Power of Digital Advocacy


union digital reach UNION SOCIAL MEDIA HELP


In the digital era, harnessing the might of technology is not just an option but a necessity.

"Employers and political entities have adeptly used social media to shape narratives and influence opinions"1.

Our unions must rise to the challenge. This challenge calls for a dynamic and strategic digital presence that leverages the potency of social media, online platforms, and targeted campaigns to amplify our voices and counterbalance corporate narratives.


The Employers' Marketing Tactic


Yet, even as we embrace change, a shadow looms over the horizon. It's no secret that employers have increasingly used marketing tactics to discourage union membership. According to a report by the Fraser Institute,

"Unions have faced challenges from firms seeking to dissuade unionization through communication campaigns." These campaigns, often highlighting potential downsides of unionization, can sway public opinion and undermine the trust that unions work tirelessly to build2.


Unions in the storage room?


A message's potential remains untapped if it remains hidden.

Imagine an important Union message was placed in a storage room.


We can all remember that storage room in our workplaces, you know, the one that old computers and files and Christmas decorations get tossed into? We all know the rooms are there, but how many of us can say we visited that room regularly to check on the items?

I only went there if I was looking for something.


Now Imagine that storage room is where the Union lives.

With specialized marketing, we can equip that room with an intercom that would allow Unions to broadcast not only to the entire building but also to the parking lot, the neighbourhood and on an open-air channel for anyone to hear!


Then there would be no need for anyone to ever find that room, because the content of that room found them.


In light of our various challenges, Canadian Unions must remain steadfast. They must take the initiative to craft our stories and counter false assertions. Many unions currently rely on internal communication departments that have been in place for a considerable period, and as we all know, technology moves quickly; therefore, without current training and proper usage, the messages are not being disseminated through digital channels and will not reach current and prospective members.


A Beacon of Hope: Counterbalanced Canada


This is where Counterbalanced Canada steps onto the stage. As an expert in digital outreach and communication, we specialize in empowering unions to navigate and thrive in this digital frontier. We amplify the Union's message through meticulously crafted campaigns, compelling content, and cutting-edge tools, and leadership training programs to extend the Unions reach to existing and potential members.


The Collaborative Future

The path forward for Canadian Unions lies in unity, adaptation, and the fearless embrace of digital change. We can breathe new life into the labour movement by championing inclusive representation, harnessing the potential of technology, and countering employers' misleading marketing tactics. The future of unions is collaborative, where we come together to reshape narratives, empower workers, and shape a more equitable world.



Footnotes

  1. Lindsay Advocate. (2022, February 9). Future union strength will depend on new approaches. https://lindsayadvocate.ca/future-union-strength-will-depend-on-new-approaches/ ↩ ↩2

  2. Fraser Institute. (n.d.). Canadians Should Celebrate Decline of Private Sector Unions. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/canadians-should-celebrate-decline-of-private-sector-unions ↩




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