Babel: The danger of being too ambitious

Within VHP2 we have had many ambitious plans to work on expanding our trade union. In retrospect these plans were too ambitious. Read more about it.

Babel: The danger of being too ambitious

The tower of Babel should serve as a landmark in the landscape, so that people cannot lose touch with each other. The structure should also offer a safe refuge during a possible deluge. Unfortunately:

“God saw the industrious people who were building the tower and decided that they were being too ambitious: they were trying to be equal to Him. He decided to punish mankind with the Babylonian confusion of tongues”.

As the son of a clergyman I cannot resist occasionally illustrating a message with stories from the Bible.

Within VHP2 we have had many ambitious plans to work on expanding our trade union. In retrospect these plans were too ambitious: it created confusion and instead of us reaching the sky, we came down to earth with a bang.

At the end of 2019 we started with a more modest ambition. Stabilization of the membership numbers in 2020 and growth for the years thereafter. 2020 has passed and the conclusion is that we have narrowly achieved our ambition, stabilization of the membership numbers. We have been able to welcome 100 new members in 2020; more than double compared to previous years. This has rejuvenated the union. Everything considered not a bad result in view of the fact that unfortunately all trade unions have been faced with a drastic decrease in membership for many years.

In 2020, we worked hard to organise our tower on Ruusbroeclaan in Eindhoven. The office, board and council of members are cooperating again The story and the message of the union are clear and are reflected in our new house style; see our new brochure. We are going to continue with our modest ambition: to achieve realistic growth in 2021. We are going to do this by more than ever going public and working together with our members to attain fair employment relationships in companies. The strength of the connection with our members but also with employers and associate trade unions, ensures that we can have an impact on employment relationships in the Netherlands. It is not a coincidence that “Connection” is one the core values of the union. If it is only to ensure that we remain realistic and keep speaking the same language. If this is a success, then we are certainly further than they ever were in Babel.

Casper Vaandrager