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Discussion on: Should we form a labor union?

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Steve Belovarich Author • Edited

What I'm proposing would be for anyone working in software or hardware development. Engineers, Designers, Copywriters, PM, you name it.

There would undoubtedly need to be a lot of research going into it.

Maybe there is lack of interest because we are so fragmented no one has really pursued the idea? If someone has done research please comment about it here. I would love to dig in.

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Erik Dietrich

I'm not an expert on the specific internal mechanics of labor unions, but the prevailing wages for some of those roles (say, copywriter versus software developer, two roles near and dear to my livelihood) are very different. Do unions encompass such a diverse set of jobs? Or would each of those disciplines have its own?

I'm just kind of idly curious as to how this might work.

It seems as though it'd be pretty tough to achieve any kind of critical mass with a grass-roots persuasion campaign. I think, for it to achieve in the US, would require a lot of political lobbying and the passage of regulatory legislation of some kind. In other words, I imagine it'd be more expedient to take up the case with politicians than with knowledge workers, many of whom will look at their personal situations and view this as a solution in search of a problem.

Another thing that occurs to me is that such an action in the US, combined with the current, quiet restrictions around H1-B visas, might just send the off-shoring/near-shoring movements into hyper-drive. IOW, US software developers unionize, enterprise IT leadership shrugs, sighs, fires everyone, and sets up shop in Eastern Europe or Asia.

(Which kinda brings me back to the requirement of sweeping legislation for it to be viable)

Anyway, curious as to the mechanics of how such a thing would play out if, say, it started to gain traction.

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steveblue profile image
Steve Belovarich Author

There are some unions that encompass many different professions. Someone in the thread pointed out one based out of Chicago.

I think something like this can only work from the bottom up.

Some organization has to be the conscience for tech corporations. We have organizations like EFF but they need as much help as they can get. Another entity lobbying on behalf of the workers would be helpful.