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Discussion on: Should we form a labor union?

elizabethschafer profile image
Elizabeth Schafer

Great question! I don't have an answer, but have been wondering the same thing. I spend a lot of time thinking about employee rights, and how we should be pushing for things like:

  • more accessible workspaces for those with disabilities
  • longer/paid parental leave
  • better health insurance
  • more time off
  • being open to remote work and/or flexible hours

These are all things that young/healthy/privileged employees may not even notice, but they can hit hard once you need them.

Not sure how related this is, but I also think about how software engineers should be held responsible for the code they write. It shouldn't be an option to write inaccessible code as a way to save time or money - we should have a code of ethics that prevents us from doing work like that. This is a thing in other industries, so I'm not sure why that doesn't exist for us.

steveblue profile image
Steve Belovarich Author


I totally agree with the responsibility part. The code of ethics is an amazing idea! What if the union could have a code of ethics everyone abides by? That way corporations who hire out of the union know they are getting someone who will responsibly develop. Of course I'm saying this just after I just made a gigantic table keyboard accessible. It would be nice if I could go to a place where similar minded folks hung out.

elizabethschafer profile image
Elizabeth Schafer

ACM and IEEE have adopted a code of ethics for software engineers, but it's not anything that's enforced (as far as I know):

wagslane profile image
Lane Wagner

Definitely always pushing for better benefits and compensations is a good thing. It is better for employees to understand their value to the company and know how to negotiate than have a formal union with all the overhead though IMO.

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