Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?
Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.
So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?
(Score: 2) by UncleSlacky on Sunday July 02 2017, @03:24PM (1 child)
They are "a union for all workers", after all: https://iww.org/ [iww.org]
(Score: 2) by a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),- on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:32PM
Worthless, mostly. Strained and alienating rhetoric, combined with militant sloganeering ensures that no sensible person would join.
Most people interested in joining a union want to do so for one primary reason: bad management. The same reason, not coincidentally, that people quit their jobs (the only recourse you have without a union).
In terms of dealing with bad management working people tend to want a contract. This contract would have a grievance procedure against said bad managers. It might also have collective bargaining over wages and work conditions.
And to be effective a union must not concede the right to strike in a "no strike" clause. It must also strike in an intelligent way, and not in stupid ways.
To allow workers to have confidence in strikes as a tactic there must be a union strike fund. Which means dues, which means a closed shop, which means some people who are anti-union will not want to pay these dues.
And so it goes.