Facebook Helps Trade Unions Mobilize Their Members

Trade unions are mobilizing their members more effectively through Facebook.

Facebook is giving new meaning to the slogan, “power to the people,” by enabling unions and grass-roots movements to mobilize quickly.

TechPresident cites several examples. The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association used Facebook to help mobilize members against to help lobby against state legislation that would have weakened unions in the area. Local organizers used Facebook instead of pamphlets and phone banks to promote a parade and petition-signing campaign on a week’s notice.

The unions used their respective Facebook pages and individual member profiles to tell members where to go to sign a petition within hours of a petition site getting set-up, a nod to Facebook’s unique engagement features.

The Facebook effort was one of the first of its kind by local unions and garnered some 6,500 participants, by all accounts a success when leaders expected only 1,000.

In Florida, a coalition comprised of local unions organized more than 40 protests against state budget cuts on a single day in March primarily via the social network. After a website devoted to the cause didn’t do the trick, members took matters into their own hands, organizing events on Facebook within two to four days.

And when news of the AOL-Huffington Post merger broke last spring, some bloggers who contributed for free to a site that was valued at the time at $315 million, took to Facebook to forms groups and organize social media campaigns against HuffPo, using their own connections on Facebook to coalesce and boycott the entity, effectively becoming a trade union.

How have you used Facebook to help motivate people?