Monday, September 21, 2009

The Alinsky Factor, Part Three of Four

Going on...

RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

SEIU: Going off of rule #5 - all SEIU has got is the Great Big Lie, and incumbency. They are now pretty much hoping that incumbency will carry the day, and that the Great Big Lie will keep activists off the field. Grade: D

NUHW: Perhaps Sal Rosselli's attendance at the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh this last week will help gin up some actual support and some actual positive news, because other than that the silence from NUHW has been deafening. It is only so long that you can sit back and let SEIU screw up of its own accord; sooner or later positive action has to be taken for the people whom you wish to represent. Upcoming representation elections are a very good start. Remodeling the website is another. Grade: D

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

SEIU: I'll say this for The Plague, they put out pressers like it's nobody's business. Better than that, once they put the presser out, it reverberates over three to four days in the 'sphere. Now, the fact that their pressers are by and large proving out to be 100% grade-A
unadulterated crap (like the Fresno 5000-vote claim, the most recent claim regarding NUHW and Charlie Ridgell, amongst others) depresses their grade here, but they put out their BS with full force. Grade: C

NUHW: After the Fresno defeat, NUHW made some good strides in terms of re-establishing IHSS funding in both Sacramento and San Francisco - two things for which Zombie UHW tried lamely to take credit. For about a two month span, SEIU and Zombie UHW was having to respond to NUHW actions. Since then? Up until about two weeks or so ago, bupkis. Now, it seems that elections have been scheduled and NUHW is ramping up to take the fight back to The Plague. This time, results matter. Grade: C

RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

SEIU: Once again, here is where the Great Big Lie doesn't really help SEIU, and may in the end hurt them. Zombie UHW has been telling everyone how horrible things would be without SEIU looking over them, when all anyone needs to do is to open up the most recent Kaiser UHW contract, and see what signatures are on the bottom line - and it ain't Medina, it ain't Regan, and it ain't Stern. Grade: C

NUHW: Until a couple of weeks ago, all NUHW had was vague suppositions of how SEIU would conduct itself in the meeting room with Kaiser - and then came the August 4th Agreement. This one agreement put in stark contrast just what a threat SEIU represents to Kaiser employees. NUHW hasn't been making too much hay of it yet, but I suspect there will be more to come in the near future once the run-up to Kaiser elections begin. Grade: B

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