In March 2023, ROC Skinner and ILO Kathy Smith attended a two-day training session for stewards at LU 1997. Our main goal was to talk about Organizing, which means getting people together to work towards common goals. In the trainings, there were 50 participants, and they were either already stewards or interested in becoming stewards.

During the training, we discussed potential places where Organizing could be helpful. Some of the stewards mentioned AGL’s Call center in Riverdale, which has 199 employees, and most of them work from home. Interestingly, there was a previous attempt to bring this group together in 2021-22, but it didn’t work out as planned.

To prepare for a successful Organizing effort, we had several online meetings LU 1997, like BM Dasher and IR Jerry, as well as the stewards and a very involved VOC.  The VOC is someone who helps represent the interests of the workers.

One of our first tasks was to get an updated list of the Call center employees. The VOC helped provide us with this new list. We carefully compared it to the old list and used the updated information to create a new database specifically for the Call Center.

This training and the collaborative planning meetings set us on a positive path towards successful Organizing at LU 1997. We are excited about the progress we can make with the support of the Stewards, and everyone involved.

Next, we had a plan to make it easier for employees to join the organizing effort. We added an electronic Authorization for Representation card to the LU 1997 website, and we also included a special QR code to share with the workers. This way, employees who wanted to sign up could do it right from their homes using their phones. The VOC and the stewards have access to these tools to help with the process.

Another important step was to send out mail to employees we had addresses for. We also received interest from two other groups, the AGL SCADA group (with 11 employees) and the Construction OPS group (with 64 employees). So, we made sure to include all three groups in the mailout. However, organizing these groups is challenging because most of them work from home and are scattered all over Georgia.

The LU 1997 stewards have been doing an outstanding job by stepping up and reaching out to employees from all three groups. They have taken the initiative to talk to the workers and represent their interests effectively.

Looking ahead, our next plan involves using phone banks to reach out to employees, as well as holding meetings and house calls to connect with them personally. We are determined to continue our efforts to bring everyone together and work towards common goals.