THE MILLION DOLLAR ORGANIZER, a nonfiction guidebook, is intended for novices and seasoned professionals who want to organize a labor union. The author, Bob Oedy writes that signing up new recruits isn’t extremely difficult if you know what to do, but that keeping these workers informed, protected, and satisfied requires extra effort. The suggested tips address a variety of professional and personal attributes needed to help people build more powerful unions. Several personal anecdotes from the author’s on-the-job experiences in this capacity (both positive and negative) are included in the text. One memorable story involves an embarrassing set of golf clubs in the trunk of a car that seemed to represent leisure and frivolity to union members who saw them.
The majority of these 365 tips specifically target union organizers, and concern their unique interests and needs. Ideas such as “Study the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” “Know the State and Federal Minimum Wage,” “Familiarize Yourself with ‘Right to Work’ Laws,” “Warn People Against Giving Two-Week Notice,” and “Learn Some Labor Chants” (some offering details about how to effectively achieve them and others explained in a couple of sentences) can undoubtedly help union organizers get results. This shotgun approach to providing tips ensures all the bases are covered—and then some.
Dozens of other tips lean toward more general self-help concepts for personal and professional success. These tips include “Control Your Emotions,” “Find Time to Exercise,” “Don’t Panic,” “Pack Disinfecting Wipes,” and “Practice Good Table Manners.” Even with brief descriptions explaining the relevance of these generalities, it sometimes feels like filler to reach the number 365, which actually has no particular significance here as these are not daily assignments, but mostly long-term goals. Perhaps a less ambitious book of 200 or 250 tips—all with fully developed explanations of tightly focused ideas—would have addressed union organizers’ needs even more directly.
The writing is plain and simple with no frills, other than some bulleted points, numbered lists, and the aforementioned anecdotes. However, the book would benefit from another round of professional editing to catch spelling mistakes (“Find a Partner with Complimentary Talents”) and grammatical errors (“things didn’t go so smooth”).
THE MILLION DOLLAR ORGANIZER is a helpful guidebook that fully delivers on its promise to explain how union organizers can recruit more members than ever before and survive local union politics, with some general suggestions for self-improvement thrown in.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader