In 2010, 300 workers and members of UFCW Local 220 were forced on strike at the Mott’s plant in Williamson, NY. The company slashed wages by $1.50 an hour for each employee and was trying to take away the workers’ pension plan. Dr. Pepper Snapple’s stock was skyrocketing and outperforming others in the industry.
UFCW looked for how they could use social media to support actions on the ground and shed light on a company’s actions.
UFCW’s New Media Strategy:
- Activate potential supporters within their existing social networks
- Target branding online
- Design actions that fit various levels of engagement and can be done by any supporter
- Ensure the “visibility” of each action
UFCW asked people to target the Mott’s Facebook page:
- by uploading a “Respect” badge
- changing status updates
- posting messages of support
UFCW encouraged supporters to print out and tape strips of paper to Mott’s products on the shelves.
UFCW asked people to use the hashtag #justiceatmotts
UFCW created flyers for leafleting actions at stores.
UFCW created a hub for downloading materials and documenting actions.
Making actions visible to the public
UFCW documented Mott’s defensive actions on their blog and used them as examples of success including photos and video of actions.
UFCW added facts about the strike to the Mott’s Wikipedia page.
- Supporters flooded Mott’s fan page.
- Over 700 photos of actions submitted
- Used as a case study on how social media can be used to damage a company’s brand:
The Mott’s Strike – a social media campaign case study
Much of this activity will include some elements of social media. The recent Mott’s strike included a highly successful social media campaign aimed at Doctor Pepper Snapple that was inexpensive to create, achieved a level of viral spread, and has been credited with helping to bring the strike to an end due.
The campaign was so successful, despite being enjoined in court following a filing by DPS for trademark infringement, that the campaign will be featured as part of a panel on social media at the upcoming International Labor Communications Association’s (ILCA’s) annual conference, to be held in Washington D.C, on November 19, 2010. This conference is a gathering of labor press from around the country, featuring an opportunity to share best practices, and learn about new ways to deliver the message of organized labor.
– Michael VanDervort , HR consultant