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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the unionize-now dept.

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?


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:13PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:13PM (#534198)

    Unions in the UK [...] in the 1970s and 1980s

    The era of Thatcher and union busting.

    the Miners' Strike

    Thatcherism writ large.
    Ronnie Raygun copied her methods with the mass firing of PATCO workers.
    (Reagan had been a union president. Total piece of shit.)

    [union leader] was a Communist

    A lot of people and political parties adopt names that are inappropriate WRT to their actual actions.

    Someone who is Communist would be working diligently to make natural monopolies publicly-owned.

    ...and this would be -after- a huge percentage of workplaces were Socialist (worker-owned).

    Socialist Labour Party

    See "inappropriate" (naming), referenced above.
    See also "worker-owned".

    The USA appears to have some very strange laws regarding unions

    The Wagner Act of 1935 was gutted by Republicans (and Blue Dog Democrats) shortly after FDR died.
    The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 fundamentally neutered workers' rights.
    In the subsequent 7 decades, neither of the Big 2 parties has made an honest effort to reverse this.
    28 states now have anti-union "Right to Work" (For Less) laws.
    The 2 establishment political parties in USA hate The Workers.

    About 40 percent of eligible voters didn't cast a ballot in 2016.
    A party that is pro-worker (e.g. the Green Party) should have gotten those votes, but Lamestream Media in the USA doesn't serve The Workers either, and fails to inform them about candidates and issues, concentrating on the "horse race" instead of the track conditions.

    .
    WRT "Computer Professional Union" in the page title, we had a story about a Socialist workplace that relates:
    Swedish Worker Cooperative Software Development Company Has No Boss [soylentnews.org]
    (When the owners and the workers are the same people, there's no need for a union.)

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

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  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:41PM

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:41PM (#534221) Journal

    Unions in general were portrayed very badly in the mainstream media during that period. That was one of the reasons that I was so reluctant to join one at first.

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:54PM

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:54PM (#534225) Journal

    Co-operatives are a good idea. I'm a member of "the Co-op" and do a fair bit of shopping there
      I've bought two laptops from them (AMD CPUs, great prices) and a washing machine. I don't understand what this obsession with "us and them" capitalism is, with shareholders revered above all else (workers, customers, the environment). It doesn't make any sense. It's unsustainable. But what do I know, I'm just a na├»ve lefty idealist :-)