HPWO Organizing

The IAM’s approach to forming joint Labor-Management HPWO Partnerships supports both internal and external organizing.  This support can help our union grow its membership by attracting new members through successful organizing drives and strengthening current bargaining units.

External Organizing

During external organizing drives potential members of the IAM learn how joining the union can improve their lives at work and for their families at home.  At work they experience better working conditions, higher wages, and better benefits, which improve the standard of living for working families.  In addition to the benefits of being union, they enjoy a new voice at work.  This voice gives them control at the workplace that they could never experience in a nonunion environment.

With an HPWO Partnership, labor and management agree on workplace goals such as increased productivity, better quality, higher customer satisfaction, improved safety, and much more.  To meet these goals in a highly competitive global economy, the work system must draw on the unique talents and knowledge of front-line employees.  Front-line workers know things that no one else knows.  By drawing on the knowledge and insights of all employees, labor and management can make better decisions jointly than management can make without the input from the employees

Therefore, during an organizing drive, potential IAM members will be attracted to the concept of forming an HPWO which gives them a real voice at work.  Through the union, this voice means that they can participate in a workplace decision-making process which protects and grows jobs, gives them real control over how the work is organized, which along with their contract gives them a secure future for themselves and  their families.

Internal Organizing

Once the IAM and the employer agree to implement an HPWO Partnership the process can also have a positive impact on internal organizing.  No person covered by the contract can lead the HPWO process unless they are dues-paying members in good standing.  This would support internal organizing in an environment where we have union recognition but could not get a clause requiring union membership as a condition of employment.

One of the keys to the success of an HPWO is to have strong leadership on all levels of the organization, but particularly among front-line workers.  Through the HPWO process, we can show how employees at all levels of the organization can work together to have a successful business which pays competitive wages, provides excellent benefits, and guarantees the employees a voice at work which gives them meaningful control of workplace decision-making thereby strengthening the IAM.

Under the HPWO, salaried personnel no longer make unilateral decisions which can negatively impact IAM members, without input from the union.  In an HPWO environment, key business decisions such as bringing in new technology, changing the way work is organized, designing and making new products, the flow of how work is done, the budgeting process, and much more are done jointly.  Expanding the scope of the union’s role at the workplace will assist in internal organizing.  Some members will be more involved in decision-making at the workplace which introduces an HPWO work system than they would in a more traditional top-down, “my way or the highway” organizational culture.  Ultimately the HPWO process strengthens the workplace and the union which means that better decisions are made than the ones which were handed down in the traditional work system.