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Labor Unions as Chartered Organizations

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Anyone heard of labor unions as Chartered Organizations?



Around here the Boeing Machinists have a terrific headquarters in a low income area.


It might be possible to encourage them to start a Cub Pack targeted at both their own membership and neighborhood families.


Unions typically have newspapers and other good methods of communication with local members, and often a good deal of institutional loyalty.


A Cub Scout pack that is proudly blue collar, with a Chartered Organization that understand how to organize things and is interested in promoting it's own youth program for members and the community sounds like it could have possibilities.


I noticed that there is a "George Meany Award"



So at least at the top of the AFL-CIO and BSA there is a policy of encouraging labor unions as Chartered Partners.


Can't say that I've ever heard of one myself, though. Perhaps some of the old CIO unions like the United Auto Workers that tend to dominate local communities might be be Chartered Organizations ---- that's sort of what the Machinists are in Seattle.



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IF they are there to support you then why not.


But I do have to put in some humor here.


Would anyone say no to buying popcorn from Cub Scouts chartered by the Teamsters. What about parents saying no to helping out when asked, think that would happen.


Sorry about the jokes, couldn't help myself.

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"Are there any scouting units in the US that are independent? Without a chartering organization and with their own clubhouse?"


Kind of a contradition in terms.


If a unit owns property, they would need to be incorporated in some way for legal purposes. If they want to be a charatable organization (take donations) they would definetly need to be incorporated to ensure this working. THAT would then be the 'chartering organization'.


Certainly in my council, we have several units whose charter org is "Friends of unit X", "Parents of unit x", etc. The CO thus exists ONLY to run the unit, and is headed by people interested in the unit (parents of the kids, etc). As opposed to CO who are churches, community orgs, service orgs, etc, which the unit is just a sideline.


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I don't know any units in my area chartered by unions, but I would like to see some involved, including my own.


I teach at an elementary school without scouting and the NEA has and HQ about a block away. I tell myself when my son finishes with Cubs I will work with my school and a new pack.

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I would be VERY interested to hear about what kind of relationship a Scout unit might have with the Pricipal of your elementary school were it chartered by the NEA based a block away!


You might consider mentioning it to your staff representative or ask an officer about the possibility at an association meeting. I'd be VERY interested in what kind of reception that might receive.



For AFL-CIO affiliated unions, there is the added benefit of the very nice Heorge Meany award referred to in the opening post. I doubt that many of these are requested in a year, so a person making an application to receive it might find getting approval fairly easy.


Not that we do Scouting for awards, but I happen to like labor unions and I have a lot of admiration for what George Meany achieved while heaqding the AFL and merging it to form the AFL-CIO. I would like to see more labor people recognized for their Scouting contributions.


As a matter of fact, I might just contact my county labor organization and ask them to set up a committee to promote and make this award.

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I believe that Labor Unions can be COs. FWIW, I once belonged (briefly) to an Explorer Post chartered by the AFL-CIO Union (Pratt & Whitney) to which my father belonged.


He was presented with the George Meany Award. He did a lot with my Troop, the Explorer Post, and some things (Exec. Bd.?) with my local Council way back when.



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Hey slack jawed,



Thanks for your post! Any idea of what was distinctive about the program that might have been related to having a labor union be the chartered organization?


Any chance of getting your dad to post some stories about his experiences with the unit and what kind of support he received from the chartered origanization?


YOU were the son of a union member! To what extent did the unit draw members from the children of union members? Di the union use it's newspaper and such to help promote Scouting with members?






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While there are Explorer Posts that work very closely with groups like Law Enforcement and Health Care with the blessing from the unions involved.

I can see that a good many unions might have a problem working with the BSA some of the polices that the BSA has in place.

Exploring doe not have these same polices.


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Labor unions can and do sponsor Scout units.


They also have an award for union members who have done significant volunteering for the BSA. In that award, they specifically say that one of the criteria is "Forming Scouting units, especially those to be operated by local unions or other labor groups." (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/Relationships/GeorgeMeanyAward.aspx)


This link from 2007 shows labor organization chartering 142 units. (http://www.praypub.org/pdf_docs/BSA_Membership_Report_2007.pdf)

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Hey Blanc,



Thanks for there reference to your very succesful troop chartered by a labor organization.


I've e-mailed your council asking for contact information, and I'll contact a Troop leader and ask them about anything that makes the troop distinctive because of it's Chartered Partner ---- whether the CO encourages membership by union families, for example.


It might be interesting to do some survey research on the impact unions have as chartered organizations for those 250 or so units chartered by unions, but I suppose I'm not ambitious enough to do that.


Anyway, what I've learned so far gives me a little more encouragement towards asking the Boeing Machinist union here in Seattle about chartering a Cub Pack.


Personally, I don't see labor unions being put off by the atheist and gay objections to Scouting. Unions tend to be pretty practical organizations that aim to serve the interest of their working class members. Scouting is a way to do that, and I think that would take priority over politics. That would be my expectation, anyway.


Thanks for the comments by everyone!

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Blancmange identified Troop 94 in Dubuque, Iowa as being chartered by aq United Auto Workers Union local.


I asked for contact infomation from the council and who the Chartered Organization for the troop was.


It turns out to be UAW Local 94 as the chartered organization for Troop 94!


That's an interesting association and identification right there!


I'll report back again when I get a chance to talk to someone in the troop leadership.

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My name is , I am currently an Assistant scoutmaster with troop 94 and have been a part of the Troop since its inception in 1974. It looks as if you have some questions in regards to having a Union Sponsor.


Local 94 United Auto Workers have been a great sponsor for us, in the beginning they where very active with the troop, and on the troop committee. We have been very successful and independent as a troop, our independence however has led to the Union feeling comfortable with us and our ability to take care of things on our own. So for the past several years we havent had a liaison to our troop, at least one that sits on the troop committee. I see the importance for any troop to have that representation and input from the sponsoring institution.




Our troop has used there facility (Basement) as our meeting place. They also pay for postage for troop mailings; let us use their Kitchen and Large upstairs HALL for Pancake Breakfasts.


We stay in contact with the leadership of the union with reserving dates on the calendar for other events, meetings or activities. Our relationship has been wonderful, they ask us to participate in the Labor Day Parade with The local membership and John Deere retires etc.




Our troop has been the largest troop in the Northeast Iowa council for years and has been one of the largest for decades. We do not have a Cub Scout pack, but we have a great rapport with several Packs in the area.


Financially they do not contribute directly to our troop; they do sponsor Eagle scouts at the councils annual Eagle brunch. I hope I have answered some of the Questions you may have had.


Yours in Scouting



(Just saw this, please PM me or another moderator if you see personal information like this again, OGE)



(This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Thanks for sharing with me some of your troop history.


The Boeing Machinist's union has a fine headquarters in a low income area in Seattle. I'm interested to see if they might be willing to charter a Cub Pack. My hope is that union members might be interested in joining a pack sponsored by their union, providing a base of membership and leadership to get the pack started and a source of membership and leadership for the long term.


With that as a base, we might hope to be able to recruit Cub Scout from lower income neighborhood families where it's often hard to get enough support to maintain a pack.

It sounds like the union helped provide that kind of leadership to get things started. Were families of union members attracted as members of the troop? Did they help provide that kind of membership and leadership base?


Are union members in general and UAW Local 94 members in particular attracted as members of Troop 94 these days?



I hope they are all enjoying the great success of your Troop!


Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with the George Meany Scout Medal and award? I would suppose you would have some Troops and perhaps local union officers who have earned that kind of award!



Any additional information on how the local union came to sponsor the Troop and how the Union-Troop relationship worked in those early years would be welcome as I try to decide the best way to get a new pack started in our area.


Thanks very much for your comments!






I do hope this works out for you, I can tell you one thing for sure, that when a union membership puts their mind to do something they almost always do it well. I found that during the first 15 years our union representatives where very active and almost too intense. At times they where the driving force in helping us to fund raise and to start our High Adventure program.


As for Union membership with youth in the program; At first in the 70s and 80s I would say about half our troop had a parent in the union. Unfortunalty the union membership has gotten much older and all of their children are long out of the program. We do have the next generation thriving, but only one boy in our troop of 65 has a parent in the Local. It looks as if their will be some new younger families joining John Deere and then the union soon.


As for the George Meany award, yes we have several leaders in our troop that have this award, but most are with different unions in the area.




Good Luck






(This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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