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Do you think it's possible to have alternatives to the 1199 model that would be better?


Well, we were dealing with a very large union, almost the size of an international union, all in one area and one industry. I don't think you can do too much different. All you can do more effectively is that you can do more in training stewards. When we did that we were not concerned about the threat to the union. We emphasized the steward as a grievance handler, and solver. The best organizers cannot do that effectively. You have to be a very very good organizer to do that, because you have to on the one hand know how to involve people and teach them how to handle grievances, and secondly you have to be very confident in your own strength and abilities so that you're not being threatened! You know the best thing is the organizer who wants to come in and settle it so he looks like the hero or heroine. So you have to be understanding of that. Now Davis would always fight that we can't have grievances handled by organizers, and that we certainly must never let lawyers do it. He would institute classes to train organizers to handle grievances. Is there another way? I think the other way, or an additional way, is to have a very strong educational program that's integrated very completely with the organizational aspect of the union -- it's not seen as a separate thing -- where you constantly are training people to stand on their own feet, and to make decisions, and to run things, and to be in control of things to the best degree you can.

Now we had a problem that was compounded. We had a union in which you had different kinds of people. Not merely black, white, and brown. But you had guild, you had service people -- service workers. I think we made the correct decision to divide in to divisions. We couldn't organize otherwise. If you put all of them together in a meeting, the guild will drown out the hospital people -- they will not speak. The hospital division meetings invariably were -- the delegates meeting -- were invariably meetings in which very very little discussion took place. The kind of discussion took place were always discussion almost like a church meeting, where people would get up and rabble rouse, make big speeches -- “We're, we're going to do this and that”, you know, and that kind of thing -- and really, really reasoned kind of discussion never took place. The kind of discussion that scares other people. Doris raised avoiding discussion to a new level. To a pitch! It becomes almost as if you are in an enemy camp if you open your mouth. In the guild there was the complete opposite, particularly since there were many social workers involved. It's almost a nature of the profession. The social worker is very very verbal. Not only that, when he or she would get up to speak, almost a professional approach, as if

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