07 Sep 2018
On Labor Day, we celebrated the milestone of five local chapters building worker power on the West Coast: San Francisco, South Bay, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles!
TWC is about creating solidarity through exploring, articulating, and acting upon our interests as workers. Together, we continue to experiment with future forms of worker collectivity — forms derived both from the ways capitalism has organized us and also how we organize against it.
The issues and challenges facing tech workers vary within the local context. We’re excited to share more stories and updates from the tech industry outside the Bay Area in the coming weeks.
Seattle TWC Monthly General Meeting
Thursday, 9/13 6:30PM at Seattle Labor Temple Association in Seattle
TANC Fall of the International Hotel: Screening + Q&A
Thursday, 9/13 7PM at Omni Commons in Oakland
Calling All Tech Workers: First Meeting + Social
Thursday, 9/13 7PM at The AjA Project / PANA Offices in San Diego
Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair
Saturday, 9/15 10AM at Omni Commons in Oakland
The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.
In The News
Thousands of hotel workers marched in the streets on Labor Day taking on the biggest hotel chain in the world, Marriott, to raise wages and improve conditions for hotel workers worldwide. Unionized workers have called for a strike vote next Thursday. Volunteers are needed for the next action they’re planning; send an email to get involved!
News broke of IBM’s secret use of NYPD surveillance footage to develop technology that lets police search through video footage on terms and filters like “Asian”, “Black” and “White”. Who creates this software? Not IBM, as some abstract corporate entity. Workers create this software. Without anti-racist, rank and file worker organization, these tools will continue to be built and weaponized against the most vulnerable.
The totalitarian Philippine President Duterte has wielded Facebook to fuel a bloody drug war and advance his political interests; Facebook has a formal partnership with the government to expand internet access to citizens.
US, UK, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand governments are demanding backdoor access to tech companies’ user data.
Headsup for our London based subscribers: Today at the Victoria and Albert Museum a new exhibtion called “Anatomy of AI system” launched. It’s a large map & long-form essay about Amazon’s Echo, and the full stack of capital, labor, and natural resources used in AI. Check it out.
Worried about monopolies? Wait till you learn what a monopsony is.
A helpful, if not enlightening, chart visualizes the decline of union density, and how it correlates to the increase in wealth of the 1%.
Politicians in India push back on big tech’s colonization of its markets.
Whole Foods workers renew the energy to unionize “to address what they say are changes to corporate culture and diminished compensation under Amazon’s ownership”.
Bernie Sanders’s “Stop BEZOS” bill promises to tax corporations larger than 500 employees proportional to the amount of aid received in the form of food stamps or state assistance by its workers (whether those workers are full-time, part-time or contract).
Activists sent a message of protest against ICE at Burning Man. “At Burning Man, tech workers feel free—to be who they are, to make art, to take drugs and dance and generally revel. Nothing like that sanctuary exists for immigrants in this country now. Our community is fearful to attend birthday parties with family and friends… Tech workers must be reminded of that every day… We need every tech worker across the country to say ‘not in my name’ and condemn the actions of companies who enable Trump’s deportation machine.” This action was organized by Mijente, an Latinx organizing group.
It took weeks, but Twitter has banned Alex Jones.
Call center workers at General Dynamics in Mississippi are fighting to unionize with the Communications Workers of America.
And for the IWW Couriers Network in Wales, victory in getting Uber Eats to the bargaining table to fight for improved conditions for food couriers.
IN THE SUMMER OF 1949, Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics, and a massive influence on the theoretical development of automation technologies, wrote a letter to Walter Reuther, the President of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Wiener revealed that “one of the leading industrial corporations” of the United States wanted to enlist him in developing automatic control systems for their production lines, and that he had refused. He went on to argue that organized labor should take the prospect of automation seriously, and that they should try to get ahead of the trend either by: 1) developing automation technology while retaining ownership and profit more equally shared among workers, or 2) blocking the development of automation altogether. Wiener pledged his unconditional support to whichever path the UAW chose to pursue. (Read more.)
Song Of The Week
We must abolish work, not just a cheap cliché, just another trick to make the workers pay / We must erase the timeline please, baby please, or we will end up dying on our bare knees / We must destroy culture free commodity, their executives are all that you believe, yeah / We must abolish work, not just a cheap cliché, just another trick / We must abolish work, not just a cheap cliché, just another trick to make the workers pay / We must erase the timeline please, pretty please, or we will end up dying on our bare knees / We must destroy culture free commodity, their executives are all that you believe, yeah / We must abolish work, not just a cheap cliché, just another trick to turn us all into slaves / Come on now, where you been? i say open up, you say let me in