IT Workers Labor Union?

Several years ago, I had a page about computer programmer labor unions, and I stopped updating it around 2015, partly because news dwindled. As of 2019, it looks like there is now a lot more activity on that front!

Also, some unions finally started to get IT workers into their locals. So, I’ll start posting new links, and linking to the better old articles.

Events/Strikes

Aug 14, 2020 – 14 Tech Organizers and Labor Experts Share Their Ideas For Re-empowering American Workers

May 1, 2020 – gig workers and essential workers strike against Amazon, Instacart.

Contracts

Minnesota AFSCME: https://www.afscmemn.org/system/files/it_remote_support_stand-by_supplemental.pdf

Unions that may be Organizing

Contemporary labor unions are largely “professionalized”, and organizers are paid. This is a contrast to the early days of AFL or CIO where the organizers were often volunteers. Presently, there are also volunteer organizers in the UE and IWW. I focus mainly on the professionalized ones. However, in the absence of professional organizing, forming a worker’s organization and undertaking voluntary organizing can often yield good results.

American Federation of State City and Municipal Employees – AFSCME has organized public sector IT workers.

American Federation of Teachers – AFT has organized IT workers in schools.

Communications Workers of America – CWA is generally given the green light by the AFL-CIO to organize IT workers. They have started organizations WashTech and TechsUnite, but they seem to be on hold.

Political Splits

Both within and outside of labor there’s always been a split position on immigration. Trump anti-immigration and often anti-immigrant attacks split the labor vote.

The basic theory, on the Left, is that inequality in status is used to harm wages and work conditions. The general direction of organizing by labor is to equalize status, but also push back against guest worker programs. The absolute position of what some call the ultra-left is that worker solidarity must cross all borders.

The basic theory, on the Right, is that status is paramount, and differential status should be preserved and even sharpened. The goal is to increase deportations and create a protected market that benefits citizen-workers.