2017/01/12: "If I was setting up a union today," said Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, "it would be the Union of Web Workers - organising the interests of information workers who use screens and keyboards as the tools of their trade." An interesting thought, though notably not one his or any other political party has pursued.
Others suspect that if the precarious workforce of the sharing economy start organising themselves it's likely to be via a more diffuse medium than anything resembling a 20th-century union. Joining such a traditional organisation would be deeply counter-cultural for many millennials - detached from their experience of work, with little possibility of securing collective bargaining over pay in their fragmented workplace.
If our existing unions are too shackled to the past to reinvent themselves for this task, then other pro-worker, tech-savvy, fleet-of-foot social innovators are likely to step forward. History suggests that sooner or later labour finds ways of responding to changes in how capital organises itself. Maybe that age-old dynamic is all played out - perhaps we've reached the "end of history" in terms of how workers organise.
Possibly, but it's more likely we're witnessing a painfully slow adjustment, one that will - eventually - give rise to new forms of post-industrial organisation that will usurp the old.
Paul Mason: With a wave of strikes co-ordinated on social media, the migrant workforce is using 21st-century tools to fight poverty, corruption and sweated labour
There is a tide starting to rise in the world of progressive activism, and unions in Australia and globally may get caught in it. The tide is comprised of decentralised, leaderless, temporary movements, empowered by online organising platforms like MoveOn, Change.org, Avaaz, Twitter and Facebook. These platforms have given everyday people unprecedented power to come
None of the Internet giants have unionized employees, which has made Silicon Valley a favorite target for civil libertarians. Earlier this month, after several prominent Bay Area technologists came out against the BART subway union strike, it provided a convenient excuse for haters to brand the
Republished from Johan S195182derberg: "The third industrial revolution might come with personal or digital manufacturing, when what used to be bought in a shop could be made at home with such tools as laser cutters, 3D printers and computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines. They are all based on the same principle, using software to... Continue reading ...