Bridge Communications posted a picture of “Cuddles,” the office cat, lending a paw to paste a “NAPE Members Welcome Here” campaign decal on their office window
THE WELCOME SIGNS ARE GOING UP ALL OVER NEWFOUDLAND. Just the way the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) planned it.
It’s all in response to the “NAPE Members Welcome Here” campaign launched by NAPE on Janurary 30.
Businesses big and small are pasting decals on their windows, supplied by the union, to make plain their support for NAPE members and the money they spend in Newfoundland and Labrador. “They know NAPE members are good for business.” says NAPE president Gerry Earle.
The union presents the campaign as a positive way for the union to combat attacks from the business establishment made during a recent union vote on 15 contracts covering 20,000 public service workers.
Leadership of the St. John’s Board of Trade decided to publicly insert themselves into union business in an effort to have members question the deal negotiated in good faith by NAPE and government.
The executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council also came out in public support of the Board of Trade anti-union position.
These moves outraged Earle. He made no effort to hide his anger. He held a news conference to call out the business leaders. He went on to taunt them with an offer to have them tell the union exactly which businesses did not want NAPE members to spend with them. Earle said the union would be happy to help business set up such and list and inform members exactly where not to spend.
In the end the business meddling had no effect. NAPE members in 15 public sector bargaining units, representing approximately 20,000 workers across the province, voted 88% in favour of accepting the agreement. But NAPE is not about to forgive or forget.
It ain’t over till it’s over
NAPE members will receive close to $250 million in payouts from the contracts. The union pointed out much of it will be spent in local businesses throughout the province. The NAPE “Members Welcome Here” campaign seeks to emphaize that reality in a positive way.
The union campaign seeks to give pro-union businesses a way to separate themselves from the anti-union approach of the Board of Trade and Employers’ Council.
The “NAPE Members Welcome Here” campaign gives businesses an opportunity to visually display their support for NAPE members in their community.
“This is a simple, positive, and voluntary way for NAPE members to know where they are welcome, while giving participating businesses increased sales as well as free promotion,” said Earle. “It’s win-win.”
Business can log on to go union
Any business that welcomes the support of NAPE members can put a #NAPEwelcome decal on its front door or window, and post a picture of it on social media together with the name of their business and the hashtag #NAPEwelcome.
The union will post the name of that business to its campaign website for all its members to see. NAPE also mailed an invitation to participate to many members of the St. John’s Board of Trade.
The union also asked NAPE members to take a selfie when they see a business with the decal and post it to social media with the hashtag #NAPEwelcome.
Online local businesses can take part too by posting the #NAPEwelcome logo on their websites and social media accounts.
Connecting with the community
NAPE has been working hard to present a positive message about how much the economic and social health and well being of every community depends on the work NAPE members do.
Results of a 2016 NAPE poll showed how little people in the province really know about the diverse range of work NAPE members do in their home communities.
The union’s ongoing “We are community” ad campaign aims to correct that.
In its first phase the “We Are Community” campaign showcased real NAPE members in their workplaces. It features the real people behind the jobs, behind the services, and behind the statistics.
In its second phase, launched in November 2017, the campaign shifted the spotlight on to the people of the province, to tell the story of a day in the life of regular people in the province and the many ways NAPE members fit into that life.
Our message is simple, says Earle: “Public services, and the people who provide them, are more than just a cost on a ledger sheet or a statistic on a piece of paper.
“We are your friends and neighbours and a big part of what makes Newfoundland and Labrador the place we want it to be.”
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