The Use of Creative Organization

There’s a lot of talk these days about
“creative destruction”, where old markets are destroyed for the sake of the
new.  The theory holds that
entrepreneurial innovation leads to long-term economic growth even if, in the short-term,
the economic value of established enterprises is destroyed[1].

There are instances where the theory
holds true, i.e. the development of MP3 players (e.g. the IPod) virtually
destroyed the portable CD player market. 
The effect of creative destruction on unions, however, has been far less

Entrepreneurial innovations can lead to
perceived redundancies in the labour market, which “creates” weakened unions
and shrinks the middle class.  While
creative destruction is often presented as a basic fact of capitalism that
can’t be resisted, some unions are proving that creative organization can
provide a counterbalance to the forces of creative destruction.

We would like to share a creative
approach to organizing that was recently used. Some non-union workers became
concerned for their futures after their company was sold to a European
group.  Workers sought the support of a
union, but feared they would suffer reprisals from the employer.  These concerns were not unwarranted.  Years earlier the workers had tried to
organize but the employer had retaliated, firing some of the organizers.  Naturally, the workers were afraid to talk
amongst themselves on the floor.  The
situation didn’t look good.

Instead of giving up, however,
organizers got creative.  They set up a
special blog, a place where the workers could discuss, debate, share concerns
and strategize, free from any employer coercion or union-busting tactics.  The blog discussion amongst the workers was
completely anonymous, so there was no one the employer could pressure.  In part due to the freedom this blog
provided, the workers were able to organize, join the union and protect

We applaud the
organizers for their creativity and courage in the face of union-busting and
job insecurity.  The workers have gained
new respect.  They have gained job
security.  They have taken steps to
ensure they can continue to provide for themselves and their loved ones.  They have answered creative destruction with
creative organization

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