Taking Access

During this summer I’ve had the opportunity to take access in some of the fields around the area. “Taking access” means that during the farm workers’ breaks the union can enter the fields and talk with the workers, and/or get them to sign union authorization cards. For me this is one of the major highlights of my day, because taking access is such an adrenaline rush! There is a very minimal amount of time for a few organizers to try and reach out to crews with large numbers of people, and it can be quite the mad-dash. But it’s the best feeling in the world. That’s one of the aspects I really love about working for the union. Everyday I have to interact with new people I’ve never met before, and quite frankly I have to have the confidence to talk with them like I already know them or like they’re already my friend. This happens during house visits and juntas too. It’s a strategy a lot of the organizers tell me that they use when they’re trying to get union support from their crews, and I think it’s rubbed off on me. I’m usually pretty antisocial when it comes to introductions and small talk with new people. But it’s important to gain the trust of the worker, especially considering the fact that when they sign the authorization card to some extent they’re putting their job (and consequently their family) at risk. There is a necessary bond that needs to be formed between us. The fact that we are both human beings is sufficient enough for us to get to know each other.  But the understanding that we’re both talking to each other because we believe in the same just cause makes the interaction all the more powerful.

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