FNV’s movement for a decent wage.
From 0 to
signatures supporting 14 Euro minimum wage
From 13% to
of seats in Parliament supporting a rise in the minimum wage
Our world is one of growing wealth inequality. The Netherlands has been no exception. And while the country has seen economic growth in the past centuries, the rewards of this have not been distributed fairly - with the minimum wage losing more than 20% of its purchasing power since the 1980s and people earning a minimum wage unable to live reasonably. The FNV - the country’s largest labour union was there to stand for workers across the country with the creation of their “Voor 14” campaign - the movement that fights to raise the minimum wage to 14 euros. For more than a year, Tectonica has been working alongside the campaign to amplify the impact of this essential fight with a full range of services drawing from the power of digital organising - something which became especially important to continue to grow the movement in the pandemic limiting times of social distancing.
When the campaign began to work with us in March of 2020, we laid out a plan to support the campaign’s one digital organiser with activities complimentary to their field organising plan.
As we all know, however, March 2020 was anything but a normal month. Two weeks in, the Covid-19 pandemic upended the normal way our world worked. Field organising was no longer an option due to social distancing measures that were put in place. We helped the team transition from a group of field organisers and one digital organiser to what was effectively a team of digital organisers operating out of their houses. The flexibility of Tectonica’s retainer services allowed us to immediately address new needs as they emerged in one of the most radical immediate shifts our lives had seen in modern times.
The first step was to work with the team and train them in digital organising methodology, in addition to the technical components. The Voor 14 team had a great advantage - and one which we really love with people new to digital organising. Unlike teaching those from a digital-first background, field organisers come with a starting point of deeply understanding the importance of relationship building. As a full-service team, we were able to support their creation of a model with different smaller team groupings focussed on different online approaches and specialisations to recruit and mobilise campaign supporters online.
In addition to the technical challenges presented by the sudden shift that COVID caused, there was also the political: with almost all public attention leading up to the country’s elections being focussed on COVID, government response, and proposed pandemic-related policy. Cutting through this with a message of a rise in the minimum wage and keeping it as a priority in the public eye proved a particular challenge. Despite this, the campaign saw astronomical growth and made great progress towards their goal during these times.
How we did it
Among the operational successes resulting from the collaboration, the campaign with our support managed to put in place a robust email program, the development of an engagement-based website to help them organise and build lists of new people. We also supported their focus on ways to involve local communities online and then went further to ensure functional supporter workflows that empower people to take increasingly more active roles and engage on a deeper level with the campaign. From low bar actions, such as promotion of petitions and actions on social media, by using the integrated relational social sharing platforms; to much more sophisticated means, such as a targeted advocacy campaign, the continued roll-out of new approaches allowed the campaign to maximise their response to events such as response to the government’s budget plans.
The centrepiece of Voor 14’s digital space is the activity hub that provides regularly updated actions and featured campaigns, so supporters and activists have a variety of ways to become engaged and build the power of the movement. Supporters were provided options to engage either through their local centres or directly through their working place, an option they can select in an interactive map of pictures. From enhanced privacy settings to multilingual petitions for engagement across communities (such as Arabic, Turkish, and Polish), we turned Voor 14’s online presence to be one of the most developed and interactive digital organising campaign platforms in Europe.
The campaign’s success is undeniable. While the achievement of the 14 Euros minimum wage might still be some ways off, incredible and necessary progress towards those ends has been made:
Two years ago, when the movement started, between 10 and 20 seats in parliament supported a rise in minimum wage. Now 120 of 150 seats are supporting a minimum wage raise.
33 of those seats have committed to the 14 euro minimum wage.
During the course of our collaboration, their emailable list has grown from 5K contacts to 50K.
They have increased the number of those interested in union membership by 5K.
They have grown a reach of 200K before us on social media to now 3 million.
They've gone from no digital participants to having 1,500 volunteers online.
They have gathered over 100K signatures for the petitions supporting the rise to 14 Euro minimum wage.
The previous year they had sent 20 emails total, and this year with our guidance they have sent 320.
We continue to work alongside the campaign continuing to grow the movement and build power in its fight for a fair and dignified minimum wage for workers in the Netherlands.