Find out more

When? 

June 12th 2015, 10:00 – 18:00

Where? 

  • Mozilla London, 101 St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AZ
  • Remote participation (SLACK? GITHUB? CAN YOU GET SOME NICE GIT PLUGINS GRATIS (ZENHUB?)
  • Etherpad + decent audio/video feed. Should be easy from MozLDN!

What? 

Hackday/sprint to build tools/stories/widgets for organised labour. 
Find & add relevant links here –> https://etherpad.net/p/dotcomradelinks  (?´???)
Add ideas/provocations here –> https://etherpad.net/p/dotcomradeideas

Why? 

Finance, education, hailing a taxi, you name it, it has been/is being/will be transformed or “disrupted” by the web.
Organised labour hasn’t begun to scratch the surface of the opportunities for protecting, strengthening and extending workers’ rights that are offered by these technologies. 
  • Can existing trades unions be rebooted, revived and reinvigorated by technology? +1 really hope so, so much we can still learn from their history
  • Do we need a new, web native cooperative, trades union or guild +1? Rebranding/what’s new narrative?
  • Do we consign trades unions to the dustbin of history and build whatever organised labour needs next? <– More like unions 2.0 (they still have power and would probably block this getting off the ground) 
  • What do open standards for organising or ensuring working conditions and predictablility of income look like?
  •  What are user/worker owned alternatives to VC/shareholder funding in tech? Open participatory capitalism
  • Social media and the web has done much to connect movements worldwide, can we further this? 

More detail and ranting

On June 12th we’ll give people a space and an excuse to gather and think about this stuff. We’ll bring together interested parties, forge links between existing efforts and build new things.
Distributed/ disrupted economy does a pretty ghastly job of protecting rights and recognising responsibilities (discuss) so what are the modern tech workers responsibilities – a discussion in this area so that we at least acknowledge the evolving nature of the digital civil compact
How do we effectively lobby national Governments in order to protect our rights – and the rights of those we care about?
Remember that episode of ‘House of Cards’ where Frank Underwood wins a campaign due to his repetition of the phrase ‘disorganised labour’? This is organised labour in the networked age.
UNEDITED SPIEL: Workers are mostly fucked. And fucking irresponsible to boot. We spend our time doing bullshit jobs for bullshit companies makiing bullshit products which create / solve bullshit problems whilst consuming rapidly diminishing resources and hastening our own unemployment at the hands of the API consuming algorithmic overlords we create.  So.. Workers? Where we’re going, we don’t NEED workers! We don’t NEED a union of selfish, short-term, tribal thinking to host another skirmish on a futile battlefield. What about a union of humanity? Of PEOPLE who unite to address the imbalance of government power, of corporate power, and of laissez faire ideologies which impose an anachronistic and inhumane ruleset on a civic which is urging to grow ever more civilised. Who can stand up to TTIP? Who can insist on a good outcome from COP21? And who can down-tools and  protest in an organised and non-violent manner? The web now one of the “commanding heights” and one that can’t be privatised (as long as we keep fighting for it to remain open). Engineers have the power to down-tools but not organised currently.

 

3 thoughts on “Find out more

  • Hi! As someone working for a digital-media-focused international development NGO, I’d love to learn more about your project & maybe participate somewhere down the line.
    thanks,
    Corin

  • Looks like at last someone is doing what I have been writing about and agitating for since the later-1980s. And done by Brits – generally considered to be the last and the least of radical-democratic activists – at least by those of us residing in the rest of Euro-pa. Me, I’m long resident in Holland (which comes close to the UK in the Eurostats of radicality (actually, OK, below). But which likewise has a lively alternative ICT research and action scene.
    Separately I will, if possible, send you more of what I have been writing over the years. This will be, if anything, of interest as history, since, if I was a pioneer then, when the technology was comparatively simple, I am playing catch-up now as the technology steams (err?) ahead.
    Oh, and I am active on the NetworkedLabour list of Orsan Senalp (another immigrant resident in NL). As well as being present on Eric Lee’s UnionBook. All strength to your collective elbows. PeterW

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