EPOC Network Union Renewal Introductory Workshop

19.06.24 - 20.06.24

This workshop is primarily aimed at participants from unions that are exploring establishing a trade union renewal strategy/programme or being involved in EPOC and especially those with well-established collective bargaining, especially at sector level.

Event Type: Workshop

UNI Europa offices, 40 Rue Joseph II, 1000 Brussels


Instilling an organising culture into our unions at every level is an urgent priority for trade unions across Europe. Even unions that are relatively strong have seen many years of downward pressure and many have witnessed a hollowing out of workplace level structures of shop stewards/workplace reps/union delegates/works councillors that is the bedrock of strong trade unionism. How can we turn this around? How do we build up a union with a high level of involvement through systematically identifying workplace leaders, campaigning on the right issues and high worker engagement? And furthermore how can we turn this activity into the mass signing up of new members? If you’re curious about these and other union questions around organising and union renewal, you’re kindly invited to a two day workshop of UNI Europa which will provide a broad based introduction on how to tackle these questions.

Since 2019 EPOC (European Power & Organising Centre) has worked with over 30 unions to help them to build capacity to defend, extend and rebuild collective bargaining. Hundreds of union officers have benefitted from training on organising and campaign building. Campaigns run with EPOC have benefitted hundreds of thousands of workers by boosting their pay and working conditions as a direct result of bilateral EPOC support. This is because of the focus placed on multicompany (sectoral) collective bargaining negotiations.

Separately, EPOC Network was established in 2020 and brings together unions to share organising experiences – both good and bad – and learn from each other to strengthen our collective knowledge. Through bringing organising directors together we are able to improve our organising strategy, tactics and techniques.

This two-day workshop will introduce participants to the approach that we have taken in developing organising capacity amongst our affiliates through EPOC as well as COZZ (Central Europe Organizing Centre) and SEEOC (South East Europe Organizing Centre). It will also provide an opportunity for participants to discuss at an advanced level the challenges around fine-tuning and rolling out new organising strategies in a comprehensive way. The experience we have developed over the years with EPOC tells us that for any organising strategy to be successful then it has to be done with a ”whole union approach’’ in which everyone has a role to play. When the strategy is fully integrated into political demands, collective bargaining and the representative functions of a union it is much more likely to be successful in a shorter period of time.
The workshop is in-person and participants should attend both days.


The objectives of this workshop are:

  • to highlight to participants the ongoing and in-depth support that is available to them via EPOC, COZZ & SEEOC.
  • to encourage participants to consider the practical steps that their union can take to increase their union power in relation to membership, activist density and delivering for members at the bargaining table.
  • to demonstrate to participants the similarities of the challenges we face as trade unions in Europe and promote direct networking between organisers.

In addition, if you have any additional things you think that the workshop should cover then the registration link provides an opportunity to suggest.

What this workshop will not cover:

This is not EPOC organising training. Unions that are involved in EPOC have individualised training sessions that enable us to go into detail and be very specific about the challenges their union and sectors face. This is a confidential process. This workshop will not go into that level of detail.

Likewise, there will not be any activities around mapping and campaign planning.

This workshop will not arm a participant with necessary tools to single-handedly transform their union. Hopefully it will make them think about how EPOC could be brought into their union to put together the “whole union strategy” needed to make such change sustainable over the longer term.

Target audience

This workshop is primarily targeted at unions who are currently exploring renewing their approaches to organising and trade union. These two days will provide a quick tour of the methodology without going into detail in any area that creates issues around union confidentiality in a multi-union environment.

Each union is different but we would particularly encourage participation from leading officers in your union with responsibility for:

  • Organising and membership growth
  • Education and training
  • Negotiations and collective bargaining
  • Sector or regional leadership.

We would particularly encourage the participation of women. This workshop will also be open to colleagues in UNI Europa, the ETUC and our sister ETUFs who are at various stages of setting up initiatives around organising and union renewal.

You may also be interested in



Commerce Steering Committee Meeting