Organising and the Importance of Union’s Publication and Media

Unions must continuously strengthen themselves through organising. One of the most important things in doing organising works is the characteristic and image of the union. Both must be well built and have deep and important meaning to workers and public. Media and good publication is important and inseparable from unions. Media can be present in unions activities. Media helps to strengthen the advocacy and campaign. Media invite public to give sympathy and to support workers. Media optimise workers’ space of struggle. Media has important roles. Media and publication are the reporter of unions activities/policies/actions to their members and workers as well as the stakeholders (employer and government) and public.

There is an old saying “Out of sight, out of mind” that is still relevant today.

The saying does not only apply on human, but also to unions. Workers who do not know what is union, do not know what the benefit and advantage of being a union member, and therefore, they would not be interested in joining a union. Employers and government need to know union’s position and demands.

Therefore, it is important for unions to have media team to publish their activities and struggle so that public would know. Public will know unions and finally people will be interested to join the union, become members. Eventually, some will support the campaign and action of union.

Upon realizing the importance of media in union organising, PSI-SASK Energy Project for Indonesia organized a workshop and training “Organizing Strategies Development through Publication and Organization Media” at Santika Hotel, Bogor, West Java, 6 to 8 April 2021. The workshop was attended by 33 participants from unions involved in the project: SP PLN Persero, PP Indonesia Power, SP PJB, SPEE-FSPMI, and Serbuk Indonesia.

The training invited a speaker from Department of Communication and Media of KSPI, Kahar S. Cahyono. The training was aimed at strengthening union’s position in organising strategy, to build character and image of union through publication and media sharing, and to help organisers and union leaders to prepare good publication: written, video, posters, leaflet and others.

In additon to that, the training is also aimed at helping unions to choose a continuous communication media in reporting news, information, and success stories of organisng either through website, social media or bulletin.

In the first day of the training (6/4/2021), participants discussed union’s organising strategies. “How long have you been in the union?” Asked Kahar opening the session. Participants’ answers varied. Start from 3 months to more than 15 years. Based on participants’ experience, both old and new members of union, union is important for workers. “Being a member of a union is the call of the soul. We can help each other, fight to ensure that our workplace is free of discrimination and free of violation against the labour law” said Novarusiana (SP PLN Persero), who has been a union member for fifteen years. Other participants said similar things.

Indeed, there are obstacles and difficulties in making workers to join and active in the union. Some of those are excessive fear, prohibition from employer, want to see what are the benefit, and many others. However, based of participants’ experiences, those obstacles and difficulties are manageable. The key is consistency and exemplary of unions’ organizers to voice the importance of union.

The next session was ‘brainstorming –organising and the importance of good publication in unions”. In this session participants told their experience of working with media by publishing one or two union activities. The brainstorming ended with a conclusion of the importance of union to publish their activities.

As the saying said “out of sight, out of mind”. If we do not publish our union, nobody would know what the union does. Lack of knowledge on what unions do, people would think that unions do nothing. It would be worse for people to think that unions are useless.

In the second day (7/4/2021), participants learned to document report and news in the form of writing, video, photos’, and prepared campaign material through images (infographic, posters, caricature, and many others). Meanwhile, on last day (8/4/2021), participants will present their work in writing and campaign material.

Photos – Click disini

Below, campaign videos created by the participants

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