Facility mapping in the most basic sense means identifying who are Union members in the bargaining unit, where they work, when they work, how much they work, their job title and where they live and how to contact them. This is done for each worksite in an organized fashion and the information is put in a database. The employer has this information in some form so it is critical for the Union to gather the information in a form that is most useful to the Union. Mapping provides a snap shot of the workplace that provides accurate up-to-date information on all of your members.
Mapping a worksite is a way for the Union to assess its power and use that assessment to make a plan to increase power (i.e.: where does the union have members; where are those members active; where is there strong leadership; who is participating in union activities, etc.) Mapping is critical for any successful member mobilization whether locally or state wide.
While the map is most often used during an organizing drive, membership drive, political action drive, contract campaign, etc., it should be updated at all times. Waiting until activity heats up and then trying to locate and identify members and the strong areas is too late.
The mapping contact is the key person in making and keeping the chart or map updated for their area. The mapping contact is the one most in contact with the workers. However, the mapping coordinator and the Associate Director will work together to keep the chart updated on a regular basis. Accuracy is important.
The map becomes a simple way to know which contact is responsible for which workers and provides a tool for that contact to track who he/she has talked to. Mapping encourages the mapping contact and Associate Director to talk to the workers on a regular basis. This builds Union strength, increases communication, keeps everyone involved, avoids confusion, helps focus effort and energy and underlines the concept that every member is an important part of the Union.