There are local branches of the Industrial Union all around the country. In total, there are some 500 branches covering various regions of Finland and professions in the union. Now is the time to have some say and influence: the local branches will hold their autumn general meetings in October and November.
When joining the union you become a member of a local branch. Depending on your workplace, the local branch can cover one workplace or several ones. In any event the local branches organise many activities and all members are welcome to participate.
The main goal of the local branch is to bring wage and salary earners as well as students in the area together to defend their interests and improve their economic and social situation.
This takes many forms, depending on the local branch in question. Together with the shop steward the local branch, for instance, monitors that laws and collective agreements are being adhered to in the workplace.
But life is not just about laws and agreements. Recreational, social and cultural activities are a vital part of the work of local branches. In this is area wishes of the branch members are extremely important.
Now is the time to have some say and influence: the local branches will hold their autumn general meetings in October and November.
Only if it knows what the members want can the local branch board organise right kind of activities. You want to have a fishing outing? Or a trip to the theatre? An all-family summer event? Please let the branch board know what you would like to have. Most probably they do not have telepathic skills to read members’ minds.
The most important guiding document for a local branch is the action plan. It is adopted – together with the budget – in the autumn general meeting of the local branch.
Members on the spot at the general meeting have the right to decide what these documents contain. By joining the meeting and airing your point of view you might be able to see that the activities you wish for are considered to be included in the branch’s activities.
Another very important issue at the autumn general meeting is elections. The meeting elects the chairperson and other members of the board. They have a great responsibility of advising and guiding the local branch. The more members in attendance at the general meeting, the stronger the mandate the board has.
You can become a candidate yourself. Depending on the local branch there are many specialised areas, too, that need people. For instance, those in charge of youth work, educational work, culture and recreational activities, equality issues and international activities.
Local branches have their springtime general meetings in March and April. These meetings endorse reports on branch activies as well as finances.