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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: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:54PM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:54PM (#534248) Journal

    I agree. I've recently read two books of Alexei Sayle's biography which give quite an insight into British politics in the second half of the 20th Century. I was a young child when the miners' strike and Hillsborough happened, and I am shocked at the arrogance and brutality of the Establishment even in those days. This is why free speech, a multi-party democracy, free press and an engaged electorate are so important
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by purple_cobra on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:13PM

    by purple_cobra (1435) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:13PM (#534934)

    I suspect we're a similar age then; I was 9 when the miners' strike started and while I have little in the way of memories of Hillsborough, I have read about it since. I'm Welsh, so even at that young age the strike had an impact as it felt like the state was trying to crush our little country, to bring it to heel. As I grew older, it became apparent that it wasn't just us; there remains a certain type of person who feels that the feudal system was the apex of societal organisation and that the working class should know their place and bloody well stay in it. Hyperbole, perhaps, but the ruling class certainly seem to have a vested interest in keeping us agitated and distrusting each other.

    I'll add Alexei Sayle's biographies to the ever-growing reading list. :)

    Funny you should mention "an engaged electorate": I got an e-mail earlier from the local Labour Party asking for expressions of interest to become a local councillor. That's interesting to me in terms of seeing the nuts and bolts of local democracy - how the sausage is made, if you like - but as I've already resolved to leave the area then it wouldn't be a sensible (or fair) thing to do.