Issue 42: Drivers, united, will never be defeated!

29 Mar 2019

As fellow workers in the tech industry, we are acutely aware of the exploitative conditions that so-called “contractor” rideshare drivers are exposed to and their struggle to make ends meet. We see Monday’s impressive strike of Uber and Lyft drivers as a necessary step in this struggle for equitable conditions. Therefore we offer total solidarity and support for their cause.

We are excited to see the call for full-time workers of Uber and Lyft to keep organizing alongside their driver colleagues and amplify the drivers’ cause. We commend their recognition that the division between drivers and full-time tech workers is false. Tech workers and drivers share a commonality; there is continuity between the exploitation of rideshare drivers and the harassment and abuse Uber full-time workers have revealed.

We join in their demand for fair treatment and the recognition of drivers as full-time employees with the security and benefits such recognition brings, as is outlined in the Dynamex decision. We call on tech workers everywhere to challenge the narratives that justify putting profit above well-being and dignity for all people. TWC is here for you and will help you get started.

Lyft drivers protest at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco

"We have seen them take 54 percent of our pay while they are worth billions, but never before have they been so callous, so brazen." / Source

This TWC statement was posted on Wednesday in support of a letter written by Uber workers calling for support of Monday’s strike and a rejection of “the two-tiered division of labor that denies drivers the basic workers’ rights afforded to internal employees”. Hundreds of drivers went on strike in LA and SF on Monday, listing demands that included: guaranteed minimum pay (similar to what New York recently voted to enact), a 10-percent commission cap for the employers, and an end to driver deactivations without just cause.

As Lyft prepares to IPO today, drivers continue to protest outside of Lyft HQ. Follow their progress here.

You can donate to the strike fund here; and read more on the organizing efforts of drivers here._

Upcoming Events

🔥Burn Contract Burn: The Rise of Tech’s Contingent Workforce
Saturday, 3/30 3PM at Capitol Hill Branch of The Seattle Public Library in Seattle

TVC (Temps, Vendors and Contractors) Learning Club
Sunday, 3/31 2PM at San Jose Peace & Justice Center in San Jose
Facebook  •  Meetup

The Climate Crisis & Tech
Tuesday, 4/2 6:30PM at TBD 

Labor Organizing in Tech: Then & Now (Silicon Valley Uncovered)
Tuesday, 4/2 30PM at University of San Francisco in San Francisco 

NYC Tech Workers Potluck
Saturday, 4/6 6PM at Sixth Street Community Center in New York 

Workers’ Cafe: TWC Austin Local
Saturday, 4/6 6:30PM at Monkey Wrench Books in Austin
Facebook  •  Meetup

Alexis Madrigal on Containers (Silicon Valley Uncovered)
Tuesday, 4/9 4:45PM at TBD in San Francisco

TWC Monthly General Meeting
Thursday, 4/11 6:30PM in Seattle

The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.

Organizing Tip Of The Week


Some of you may already have built a budding organizing committee (OC): one that meets regularly, assigns and completes tasks, and develops short and long term strategies for building power in the workplace. As you continue to develop and grow, it may seem like further one on ones only need to occur between OC members and coworkers that you’re hoping will get involved. While that never stops being important, checking in with others on the organizing committee is just as valuable. Many organizers have had experiences where one on ones with other OC members revealed concerns and fears that they did not feel comfortable sharing in a broader meeting, for example. Organizing is also exhausting work, and building a culture of caring for your fellow organizers can make or break campaigns when the going gets rough. Take care of one another so you can fight the boss together.

In The News

More information about Google’s censored search engine for China shows that management is running a secret parallel employee review process.

Also this week: Sundar Pichai met with the Trump, where he affirmed a commitment to the US military and was criticized extensively for Google’s involvement in China. Meanwhile, Google has appointed the anti LGBT, anti immigrant head of the Heritage Foundation to its external advanced technologies advisory board. Last week Human Rights Campaign delisted Google after it failed to ban anti gay conversion “therapy” app.

Free cult game Dwarf Fortress is coming to Steam… Because the creators need health insurance.

Finland is using prison labor for labeling AI training data.

“In an era of the gig economy, Waze has found a better business model—unpaid labor.” Thousands of volunteers spend hours updating Waze’s maps.

Read this historical chronicle on tech/white collar unionization and “forget your middle-class dreams: When it comes to workplace organizing, there’s no such thing as a “privileged” worker. You’re either with your coworkers or you’re against them.”

Ford GoBike mechanics and bike service workers have been organizing and will vote March 28 on whether to join the Transport Workers Union of America.

Pitchfork union? 10/10!!

Song Of The Week

le tigre - get off the internet

It feels so 80’s
Or early 90’s
To be political
Where are my friends?

I’ll meet u in the street
(Get off the internet)
Destroy the right wing
(Get off the internet)
I’ll meet u in the street
(Get off the internet)
Destroy the right wing

This is repetitive
But nothing has changed
And I’m crazy
Where are my friends?