You’ve been working at a popular bar in the city centre for a few months now. You and other workers have increasingly been pressured by management to work through breaks, regularly working 8 hour or longer shifts. A number of workers have been complaining about this, and you’ve contacted your local branch and Area Organiser to find out what you can do.
You’ve just finished mapping your workplace with one of the organisers from your local branch and here is what you’ve identified so far about potential leaders and other workers who wield influence:
James works on the bar. He’s worked there for 3 years. He’s very good at his job - all the bartenders go to him for advice on how best to do certain things. He’s never taken an interest in unions; because he plans to become a musician. He’s also the “go to” person for people throughout the bar who have any issues with benefits or working tax credits – these are relied on by many of the part time, low paid workers at the bar. He runs an open mic night and there is a large group of 20-some players who get together regularly to play. You’ve heard several people from that group call him "a legend" and that when James was hurt, the night didn’t happen “out of respect” for James. Others say it stopped because James wasn’t around to pull it together.
Megan works as a waiter so she gets all over. She knows EVERYONE! There have been at least two relationships based on her connecting people, a night out organised, and lots of other connections made between people who needed each other. I think she likes the union a lot too. She wears a union badge.
Cat is a waiter that works the day shift. She’s been there about 5 years and does an incredible job. People on her shift seek her advice all the time. Management seeks her out to figure out how people are feeling about things... react to changes etc. Just two months ago, management failed to do that and changed the schedules for half the staff. Cat was the main person who got people together after work at Pizza Hut, made a plan, and the next day staff just lambasted management until they backed down. They didn’t know what hit them. However, she is pretty independent and says she doesn’t need the union’s help - that she can solve our own problems here.
Lukasz is a waiter on evenings. He’s the guy that gets things done on evenings and the overnight shifts. He’s been here almost 3 years, does good work, and is very well respected. You always know where Lukasz stands on things, and people like that. During the schedule fiasco, he got his shifts to sign a petition in support of what Cat was doing because his folks don’t come to the staff meetings. Everyone signed it. He’s very pro-union too, but he’s never joined because he’s so busy outside of work helping run a football club for kids. The only problem with Lukasz is that he’s very opinionated on politics and sometimes says politically incorrect things.