Local EWOC Groups

What is a local EWOC group, and how do I start one?

The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) is an organizing project of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE Union). Our mission is to support any worker, in any industry, to connect with their coworkers and win lasting change in their workplace.

To do this, we connect workers with volunteer organizers and offer workplace organizing training sessions for workers and volunteers. As a national organizing project, we do most of this work virtually, but local EWOC groups can take this model and make it into something that happens in person in local communities.

What would an EWOC group do?

Groups should determine their own activities, but EWOC recommends a few basic things.

  • Meet Regularly: Regular meetings should be places where the group can plan and coordinate other activities, but also where organizers can check in on their campaigns, giving status updates and seeking advice.
  • Conduct outreach for campaigns: Find ways to reach workers who might want support organizing – be it through connecting with other groups, tabling, flyering, canvassing, or other ways to make yourself known.
  • Conduct outreach to find new volunteers: Look for events and groups where there may be people with organizing experience and capacity – reach out to them and find ways to encourage people to join EWOC as organizers and volunteers!
  • Hold Trainings: Put on either in-person versions of the foundational training series, or more specific trainings oriented at particular industries or stages of campaign organizing.
  • Hold events to support workers who are organizing: These can be dayschools or conferences where different campaigns get together and learn from one another, or regular “workers circles” where active workers can share experiences and advice about issues they’ve encountered in organizing.
  • Hold broader events: Socials, fundraisers, and other ways to bring together organizing workers and broader layers of labor activists to meet, celebrate their successes, and cook up new ideas.

Want to start a local EWOC group?

Step 1: Get in Touch with EWOC

Reach out to [email protected] and ask for a meeting with someone who can walk you through the steps.

Step 2: Find an Advanced Organizer and Local Coordinator

An advanced organizer is someone who will be assigned campaigns and should be willing to act as a mentor to new organizers and support younger organizers who are learning how to organize. Advanced organizers will typically have a minimum of five years of workplace organizing experience.

What is a local EWOC coordinator? They’re someone who will help liaise with national EWOC and the case management team in Slack on a regular and prompt basis. They may help with assigning campaigns to organizers, depending on the local EWOC group’s preferences.

Step 3: Build a Team

Build a team with at least one advanced organizer, one local coordinator, and four intermediate organizers who will act as the leadership for your local group. An intermediate organizer is someone who can take on EWOC cases. There might already be people in your community who are already signed up as EWOC organizers. If there are, contact them and ask if they’d like to act as intermediate organizers for your local group; if there aren’t, find someone who’s been organizing workers for more than two years and ask them to sign up as an EWOC volunteer.

Meet together and make a plan. Talk about what the local group will do and who will be responsible for each part. Make a plan to launch your group! Even before you have enough organizers to start taking on cases, we encourage you to contact [email protected] and begin by hosting your own local organizing trainings.

Step 4: Launch

Have fun!

Get Started

Ready to start your own local EWOC group? Email us at [email protected].