Saturday, November 05, 2005

How cool is that!

In my opinion it is important to invite folks to make input to our unions even if we may not want to hear what we have to say or are angry because we feel they are unfairly criticizing our hard work.

Unions are democracies. Democracies are political. Political bodies are made up of folks with differing views of reality and different memories of events. In democracies conflict and some strife happens and is a good sign of a healthy democracy. I think we must tolerate dissent in order to remain democratic. To expect folks in a union to have just one opinion and voice and to attack the expression of opinions we don't agree with, I think, is bad. To listen, debate, tolerate and encourage the healthy expression of differing ideas, rather than attack the speaker; I think that is good.

Union activists may complain because the folks we feel are whiners have not gotten active before, or not run for union office before. There are plenty of reasons why some folks cannot get deeply involved. Some of the folks may have children or partners requiring special attention, sick elder parents or have health issues of their own. Becoming an activist is also very stressful at times and you can't expect everybody to be able to handle that. But, some of the reasons folks may have not gotten involved is perhaps because they did not feel empowered to do so. As folks find road maps to how they can get involved, they gain the capacity to do more. As we learn about them they learn about us. Maybe not, but perhaps thus empowered they will become us!

How cool is that!


Post a Comment

<< Home