Global Picketline is an international campaign, so all the workers, union officials and activists involved in the campaign can’t actually meet together. But we imagine the campaign being developed by all of us sitting together at the same table.
As we develop a Global Picketline, it becomes clear that particular workers, union officials and activists are much better placed to assist in developing solidarity activities.
Obviously the workers directly involved in the dispute are the people who are best placed to propose and request solidarity actions. But some other workers, union officials and activists are also well placed to help to build a Global Picketline campaign. They are strategically placed to assist in the dispute. Possibly they are employed by the company in dispute. Possibly they are members of the same union as the workers in dispute. Possibly they are involved in a similar dispute, or facing the same issues in another company in the same industry. Or possibly they are located in an area that is strategically connected to the dispute. (Like a transport group used by the company in the dispute; or a housing area where most of the workers involved in the dispute live).
We have called the workers and activists best placed to assist in a dispute the right people around the table. If they can effectively work together, they can develop an international solidarity strategy to help workers win.
Through experience in many international campaigns, we know some of the qualities that the right people around the table need: They need to be people who want to help the workers win the dispute. They need to be genuine unionists or genuine labour movement activists. That is, they can’t be corrupt; they can’t be acting on behalf of management, or for the police, or for the state bureaucracy.
The right people around the table can include prominent labour movement leaders; left activists; union officials; union delegates; union activists. They may be active in a union, in a community group, in a left organisation or in an international labour movement structure. But they need to be well situated to assist in the dispute. This means that the right people around the table will take turns at being in meetings and discussions, depending on the stage of a dispute, and also depending on the solidarity strategy and tactics that are chosen.
The right people around the table need to be supportive of international solidarity, and they need to be supportive of a strategy that brings together workers, union officials and activists from many unions, workplaces, industries and countries, meeting as comrades in constructive discussions to help fellow workers.