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Issue date
HeartUnions week will be taking place from 10 to 16 February 2020. It’s a week of activity throughout England and Wales that highlights the good work that unions do every day to offer everyone a voice at work.

Take action in your local area

Trades councils are organising stalls and leaflet drops in town centres across England and Wales to support #heartunions, tell people about the sexual harassment campaign, and gain signatures for the petition.

On Monday 10 February, the TUC is hosting a big campaign organising call about the sexual harassment campaign, which will equip activists to bargain with their employers for a new policy on sexual harassment.

All of our resources are downloadable via our HeartUnions page

Get in touch with your regional TUC office to request resources, to find out more and ask how you can get involved.  Northern JJacobs@tuc.org.uk, North West JMcKenna@tuc.org.uk,  Yorkshire & Humber GLewis@tuc.org.uk, Midlands RJohnston@tuc.org.uk, London, South East & East LHeselden@tuc.org.uk, South West ILage@tuc.org.uk, Wales JRees@tuc.org.uk.

Stall

Running a brilliant stall

To have the biggest impact with your stall, there are some simple steps to follow.

The goal of our HeartUnions stalls is to raise awareness of the good work trade unions do, and reach out to people who are not trade union members.

This year, we are promoting our campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace via our petition.

We want to use the petition to build support for a change in the law, to make employers protect their employees better. To do this, we want to have as many conversations as possible.

While handing out flyers helps, the real goal is to engage people on the issue and ask them to add their names to the petition.

And you can use your phone/tablet to collect signatures, or use the paper petition template.

AND remember to check out our guide to taking great photos at your event and post them on social media with the #heartunions, or send to glewis@tuc.org.uk

Heartunions – having conversations on your stall

Our focus is on getting members of the public to sign the petition. Remember to be friendly and upbeat. It’s our job to get people interested in trade unions, build support for our sexual harassment campaign and give other volunteers a fun experience of campaigning.

Introduce yourself by name and introduce the issue. Start with an open question - let them tell you what they think. This may be the first time they have thought about this issue so give them some time to work it through for themselves before getting deeper into the discussion.

“Hi, I’m talking to people today about sexual harassment in the workplace. As trade unions we’re campaigning for a change in the law to protect workers. Have you heard about it?

If they support the campaign, ask them to share why.

And share a bit about why the campaign is important to you too. Maybe you or someone you know has had a positive experience of trade union representation? It’s important to share your experiences – people will hear your passion and will want to support the campaign too.

“Me too! Why do you support it? I personally feel strongly about it because…”

If they don’t know/seem unsure, explain [some of our recent statistics].

“Did you know 1 in 2 women are sexually harassed at work but 4 out of 5 don’t feel able to tell their employer. We think the focus needs to shift to preventing sexual harassment in the first place. We believe that when workers get together, we have the power to win what we deserve. Would you add your name to support them?”

If they seem to be strongly against unions or the campaign, then they have probably made up their minds. Don’t take this personally. Thank them for their time and move on to the next person. It’s better to focus your energy on finding people who are likely to support.

Some tips from experienced campaigners

  • Don’t obstruct the entrance to the shop, take up the width of the pavement, or obstruct the walkway.
  • Pick a spot with plenty of foot traffic, that allows people to pass by easily.
  • Once you've greeted and briefed all your attendees, start them off in pairs collecting signatures. Once they're comfortable, they can decide if they'd like to work on their own or continue working together.
  • Be positive and friendly with the public. Don’t argue with people who disagree with you, just thank them for their time and move on. Your time is valuable and there are lots of people to talk to.
  • If approached by security, move on.
  • Remember that while major political events are ongoing, the focus of this activity being the positive face of trade unions and building support for our sexual harassment campaign, not to support any party or candidate.
We need a new law to prevent sexual harassment at work The government needs to take immediate action
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