Over the weekend of 8-10th September, a delegation of GMTU staff and members attended the Ella Baker School of Organising, which was held in Liverpool.
Delegates attended from the UK, Europe, South America and India representing organisations ranging from formal trade unions to grassroots community organisations. This provided a great opportunity for networking and sharing ideas, especially with comrades from London Renters' Union and The Barcelona Tenants union.
The conference opened with a reception for delegates and a screening of 'Everything Must Change' documenting how the current crises from the housing crisis and cost of living crisis, to the climate crisis are all interlinked.
The programme began on Saturday with sessions on 'Place-based organising' and 'Identifying workplace leaders' which related directly to the worth of GMTU around local campaigns such as block the block, Ardwick against the monster and the save the seven sisters campaign; and the crucial task of identifying members affected by the issues who can drive forward the campaigns.
GMTU then contributed to the session on 'Community Organizing' by instructing delegates in how we map the power holders in collective disputes and shared successes of the union, such as empowering local residents in establishing the Harpurhey branch and community kitchen. This session was the most well-attended session of the weekend and received great feedback.
The day finished with a session on political literacy and researching companies before an evening meal and networking.
The conference re-enforced the value of constantly learning and developing our organisation to be able to run the most effective campaigns, and the importance of sharing experiences with comrades in other organisations to learn and reflect on each others' struggles as ultimately they are all linked.