We hate to say it, but this is a wise move by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Â This should also serve as a wakeup call for GOP and conservative online activists. If the SEIU is successful in its online organizing efforts, it could complicate the eventual Republican presidential nominee’s chances of winning in several 2012 battleground states: including Ohio and Florida.
One of the most politically influential labor unions in the country has signaled a shift in emphasis towards organizing and campaigning online by hiring senior digital staff in at least a dozen major U.S. cities.
In what may be a first for organized labor, Service Employees International Union is beefing up its online operations by hiring new media directors and campaign directors to work directly under the chiefs of staff of union locals in each of those cities, including Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Mich; Portland, Ore.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Miami, Fla., among others, according to job postings that were available online. Because of the way union locals are organized, the size and territory of each organization varies. One of the largest locals in the country, for example,Â 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East, includes workers in six states.
While there are digital staffers in other unions, many union locals do not have a digital staffer with the level of seniority that the SEIU’s new people will have.