Oklahoma Union Organizers and Activists 'Training Up' to Win

Oklahoma Organizing

Twenty-five energetic and dedicated union member activists and staff, mostly from Oklahoma, came together this past week to "train up" on fundamental organizing principles critical to winning internal and external union organizing campaigns. The three-day training was held at the Oklahoma AFL-CIO in Oklahoma City. It was great to have so many energetic and committed organizers share their experiences about the work they are doing to organize working people. And this was a fun training!

This three-day training focused primarily on having the right organizing conversation with members and potential members, identifying and developing workplace leaders who can win, and why we map out our workplaces. Organizers who attended the training came from the Ironworkers, Communications Workers of America (CWA), United Steelworkers (USW), AFT, Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Transport Workers (TWU), Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Machinists (IAM); and although most were from Oklahoma, organizers also traveled from Arkansas, Texas and Maryland to attend the training.  

I would like to thank Oklahoma AFL-CIO President Jimmy Curry for partnering with the Organizing Institute to host this training. I also want to send a very special shout out to Oklahoma AFL-CIO Communications Director Debra Wojtek for putting in the work and getting the word out to affiliates in the state about this training. This was the second training the Oklahoma AFL-CIO and the Organizing Institute put on (the first was in August 2012), and we look forward to working with the Oklahoma AFL-CIO on scheduling more trainings in the not-too-distant future.  

We also would like to thank organizers Trentice Hamm (IBEW), Jesse Hensley (SMART), Troy Johnson (IBEW), Chubbs McCrory (IAM), Jerry Sims (IBT) and Joe Smith (IBEW) for taking time away from their campaigns and their families to serve as teaching fellows with us.  

Lastly, big shoutouts to Organizing Institute Senior Trainer Patricia Recinos, who led this training, and OI Administrator Camille West-Eversley for making it a success!

Be sure to check our website at for information about upcoming three-day trainings, advanced organizer workshops and clinics.

Stay strong, and we hope to see you at an upcoming Organizing Institute training!

This guest post is from Patrick Scott, who works for AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute.