In the past few weeks, locals have been using the Hustle app to communicate with members and potential members during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Hustle is an innovative texting app that locals can use to make personal and authentic connections with workers without relying solely on physical home calls. To date, the UFCW Communications Department has trained hundreds of representatives and organizers to use this new method of communicating with workers as part of their servicing and organizing campaigns. As a union, the UFCW has helped locals send out more than 1.2 million Hustle messages during the month of April and more than 2.8 million messages thus far this year.
Since the stay home orders were issued on March 19 in California, UFCW Local 770 has used all of the tools provided by the International Union, including Hustle, LUMM, Sidekick and the new Thumbs Up App, to check on the well-being of their membership and share information during the pandemic. Over 3,500 new membership apps have been received since staff began working remotely.
“Our Emergency Crisis Organizing team has sent almost 500,000 messages through Hustle and have had over 35 percent engagement,” said UFCW Local 770 IT, Communications and Vice President Michele Ward during a recent Hustle training on Zoom that focused on servicing strategies. “We started out engaging members through Hustle with a petition to the governor and the need for personal protective equipment on the job. We also use Hustle every time someone in a store tests positive for COVID-19. Some companies are not sharing this information and we want to get this out as soon as possible.”
UFCW Local 663 has also been using Hustle to service their members and recently reached out to members who work at Cub Foods stores in Minneapolis via Hustle to tell them not to go to work after the stores were damaged during the protests.
“Hustle has been our quickest tool to communicate to our members at the two stores that were looted, burned and destroyed at ground zero in Minneapolis,” said UFCW Local 663 Director of Communications Jessica Hayssen. “We texted our 300-plus members at the two locations early in the morning to advise them not to go to work and to stay away from the stores. Later in the day, as we learned more, we used Hustle to communicate and keep our members safe and to reinforce the efforts their employer was taking to secure short-term pay and relocation of their jobs.”
The UFCW is holding Hustle trainings that are available to locals three times each month:
- Hustle Working Group: This training is open to all UFCW Hustle admins. The Working Group is an ongoing professional development training for Hustle users to share best practices, case studies, sample scripts and deeper dives into Hustle strategy for UFCW users. You can register for the Hustle Working Group here.
- Hustle Admin Trainings (offered twice each month): These trainings are for new admins or anyone who needs a refresher course on the Hustle admin platform.
If your local union is interested in registering for the Hustle Admin Trainings, contact Moira Bulloch in the Communications Department at email@example.com.