Working America
3.0 of 5 21 reviews
workingamerica.org 16 to 50 Employees

Working America Reviews

Updated Jun 17, 2014

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3.0 21 reviews

                             
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    Great way to start a career in activism

    Canvasser (Former Employee)
    Columbus, OH

    ProsGood pay for an entry-level job, excellent benefits, opportunities for advancement, great way to learn how to talk to people about important issues that matter to them.

    ConsIf you don't make quota, you're gone. That being said, it's not difficult if you try hard and believe in the mission.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more selective about who you hire. Many people treat it as just another job, but it's really a wonderful opportunity for people who are serious about political activism, so scout for those people rather than casting such a wide net.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Its a tough job but you are working for a good cause.

    Canvasser (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsIf you want to hone your people skills - especially dealing with the public, this your job. You will also have a chance improve sales skills.

    ConsYou will be outside in all types of weather. It is evening work so it might not work for some one who needs their evenings free.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    They're fabulous at espousing Labor without adhering to them.

    Canvasser (Former Employee)

    ProsThey pay's great for the caliber of job. Most of those walking through the door are dedicated to helping people before they interview.

    ConsThey lie to middle management, nepotistic ally hand out promotions, then shrug when promises they made (and job expectations they describe) turn out not to be true. They also hate having unions in their own organization despite having been founded in order to uphold union values.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDisband your national network. Re-brand yourself as a group of political mercenaries and be more blunt in interviews about how you tend to treat your employees.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Double standards and unprofessionalism undermine mission of the AFL-CIO and labor.

    Field Director (Former Employee)

    ProsKaren Nussbaum, the Executive Director of working America AFL-CIO is a visionary and inspiring leader committed to improving the lives of workers.
    Better pay compared to other canvasses. Management positions salaries are competitive and Career positions in DC pay well. Progressive discipline and just cause exists to protect unionized canvassers.

    ConsNational FIELD management. As a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, they unfortunately do not walk the talk if they don't have too.
     Unlike entry level canvassers, management and career positions do not have union representation and are classified as "at will" where you can be terminated without just cause or fair process at the drop of hat. Upper field management in DC tends to exercise decision making power in a way that is inconsistent and subjective. They will train their managers to "seek first to understand" but not follow their own advice when dealing with non-union employees.
    Promotions tend to be based on personality vs performance. Sometimes they interview for promotions and other times they simply handpick their choice; no consistent process-bordering on nepotism.
    These double standards undermine their mission and hurt dedicated hardworking employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKaren & Upper management : Your directors and national leadership staff are reluctant to give honest feedback for fear of being marginalized or blacklisted. When you say we are a family and this is a safe place to share concerns they do not believe you.
    As hardworking employees, they expect be accountable to job performance, but as "at will" employees, they fear being terminated without just cause, especially in light of some recent terminations not grounded in job performance. Trust is precarious.
    I would strongly recommend that the board of Working America and upper leadership in the AFL-CIO meet with Working America's Executive Director Karen Nussbaum to address these concerns.
    Confidential feedback from all directors, and national field staff need to be gathered and steps need to be taken to provide more process, concrete policies and protection for staff that do not have the benefit of a union representation.
    At this point, I would caution anyone pursuing a leadership position within the field canvass until upper management behavior is sufficiently addressed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    For the rabble-rousing smooth talker

    Field Manager (Former Employee)
    Columbus, OH

    ProsGood pay and benefits. Supportive office culture.

    ConsIt is very easy to lose one's job. They prefer to move experienced staff from city to city rather than recruiting new people, so if you expect to have a career there, plan to move.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIsn't the whole point of the labor movement that people aren't worthless? Recruit for a wider range of positions and stop sucking your FD's dry.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Good Cause, Another way to fight it.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat cause and love the overall theme of the fight.

    ConsEmployment opportunities and Diversifying the staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook to diversify and welcome different thoughts to better the movement.

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    An excellent way to start your activism career

    Canvasser (Former Employee)
    Columbus, OH

    ProsGood pay and benefits for entry-level
    Excellent experience
    Casual atmosphere
    Sense of purpose
    You can move up quickly

    ConsKnocking on doors can be tough, no lie about it. But if you just at least give it your best, you'll do just fine.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Labor for labor, but keep an eye on your numbers

    Field Manager (Current Employee)
    Columbus, OH

    ProsThey pay more than most canvassing groups, and provide benefits.
    They really believe in making a change.
    The little comments that add up to a hostile work environment are struck down very, very quickly. No joking about sex, religion, race, etc.

    ConsBecause of the quotas, you can lose your job at the drop of a hat.
    To be considered for advancement, you have to be willing to move any time, any place

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdding more stable positions would help decrease turn-over.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Canvasser

    Canvaser (Former Employee)
    Boston, MA

    ProsMaking a Difference in Work. Get Paid. Training in organizing and campaigns. Support organized labor and get paid to help elected officials who support working families.

    ConsQuotas detract from focus on public service. Working alone at night detracts from safety. A co-worker got attacked on the job yet there was no immediate change in canvassing system.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake safety a priority - canvass in pairs/groups during election season and always. Also, give newcomers more of a chance to grow into role. Act how a union would act if another employer offered same conditions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of national support. Few advancement opportunities.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Plymouth Meeting, PA

    ProsIf you want to work for a progressive organization for a short time, or for a specific campaign, this is a good place to work. The pay is better than most canvassing outfits. The people that work here really do believe in the progressive values they preach, and many of the leaders are passionate knowledgeable people.

    If you don't mind working late, the hours are great (1 pm - 9pm). Keep in mind, you WILL be asking people for money most every night.

    ConsThe quota system, at least why I was there, was unrealistic. Moreover, the national organization offer very little support for local field managers. You would think that their opinion would be taken more seriously, but it isn't.

    Once you reach a certain point in advancement, it is almost impossible to get beyond that. Salary -- unless you're with the organization for 5+ years -- is going to top out at mid to low 30s for most folks. The best jobs in the organization are in DC, and the people who have them now aren't leaving.

    I would say that Working America in general cares little about it's individual employees. Canvassers by definition are interchangeable, but I felt like canvassers were treated more like numbers than people. Can't make an unrealistic quota on your first week? Tough cookies. You're laid off. When national makes a unilateral decision to close an office, staff are laid off at a moment's notice. For an organization that promotes the labor movement, they certainly shirk on some aspects of it. When their office managers tried to form a union, Working America actually fought them on it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake the advice of your local offices more seriously. They understand the community they are working in better than you do. Not every city is the same.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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