6 August 2019

Alyssa Battistoni: “The really controversial thing, though, wasn’t joining the union but organizing it. … Many people were happy to sign a membership card and a petition from time to time but didn’t want to go to more meetings or talk to colleagues about the union: they were already busy, so busy. They supported the union, they said, but they wanted it to leave them alone. … The relationality of organizing is maybe the hardest thing to understand before you’ve done it. But it is the most important. This is not because people are governed by emotions instead of reason, though they sometimes are. It’s because the entire problem of collective action is that it’s rational to act collectively where it’s not to act alone. And you build the collective piece by piece. … If the secret to winning isn’t really a secret — you just keep organizing and organizing and organizing so that along with all the losses and setbacks some victories start to pile up — then maybe the question of how to win is just a question of how to keep doing it, after you win and after you lose.”