Should Unions Organize Common Security Clubs?

Posted June 9, 2011 in Blog, Publicity, Resource. Tagged: ,

By Chuck Collins and Glenn Scott Davis

Should unions organize Common Security Clubs?   Yes!

The “small group organizing” approach demonstrated in the growth and experience of Common Security Clubs can be an effective tool for labor unions and their members in these hard times.

Common Security Clubs are also known by other names such as “resilience circles” and “mutual aid groups.”  Organized around three core activities, these user-friendly groups engage participants in their communities or workplaces through a locally facilitated process focused on:

1.)   Learning about the causes of our economic crisis through reading, reflection, & discussion

2.)   Providing Mutual Support to each other around issues of economic security

3.)   Joining Together in Social Action

While the particular focus of these small groups vary, the outcomes are similar: Increasing the  Informed Voice and Participation by individuals around the economic issues that directly impact them, their families, communities, co-workers, and congregants.

We believe that unions, community organizations, and the faith community can have a greater impact on the political and economic direction of our country than our current efforts are producing.   As a progressive movement, we are fighting back – organizing on the range of issues that directly impact our respective members, congregants, and communities.

As we rally, march, lobby, educate, and mobilize in resistance to cuts in human, education, and health services, we also believe that as progressives, we must find more effective ways of working together across our numerous communities of interest as we sustain ourselves for the long work ahead.

Unions in particular can benefit from organizing Common Security Clubs by:

  1. Learning from the experience of others around the country who have implemented new forms of “small-group” organizing.
  2. Experimenting and “piloting” an innovative and creative approach that may very well expand the participation of workers in your union.
  3. Offering union members the opportunity to learn about the causes of our economic crisis.
  4. Identifying and supporting the development of new leaders from within your ranks.
  5. Deepening, in an organic way, the influence and engagement of your union in the communities in which both organized and unorganized workers live.
  6. Increasing the capacity of your union and other progressive forces to build more effective networks across our various communities of interest.

If you would like to discuss how Common Security Clubs and unions can work together, please contact Glenn Scott Davis at 206-734-5436 or via email at

[Photo: Labor Union Resources]