Issue 52: The Tech Won't Build It Movement Has Spread to Palantir
23 Aug 2019
The Washington Post on Thursday revealed workers in Palantir are protesting the companies contracts with ICE. We learned that hundreds of workers have signed two separate letters calling on the company to reconsider it’s relationship with ICE. This story follows news earlier this week that management at Palantir decided to double down on profiting from human rights abuses by renewing one of their ICE contracts.
We find inspiration in the actions of the Palantir workers who are fighting against management efforts to diminish the role the companies technology is having on immigrant families. We now know Palantir’s tech helped ICE to target sponsors that directly led to deportations and family separations, and that it was used to target immigrants in as part of work place raids in NYC last year which again led to family separations. It can’t be easy in a company like Palantir where management have consistently lied to workers about the work they do with ICE. It will continue to be difficult for workers over the coming days and weeks as they continue to organize against management’s decision to double down on profit over human rights.
Tech worker discomfort with aiding and abetting immigration policy enforcement led to over 1,300 Google workers calling on management not to make their hosting platform available to Customs and Border Patrol. And today we learned that following years of organizing inside Google the bosses are trying to stop workers from discussing workplace issues. Managements are saying ”look we don’t want to talk about politics, this is a place of work, just make the damn muslim registry and stop talking about non work stuff.” The idea that a discussion over whether Google does business with CBP/ICE is not related to their work is preposterous.
As efforts by workers ripple across industries it will be important for workers to stick together and continue to organize together, despite efforts made by bosses to either co-opt or kill those efforts.
This is all about power and bosses won’t give it up easy.
We send solidarity to all workers who are trying to curb tech’s complicity with ICE and CBP as these rogue agencies implement racist and xenophobic immigration policies.
- Palantir Protest: Today, 4pm, Palo Alto outside Palantir’s HQ. Event info.
- Learning Club: Tech Workers Are Workers: Wednesday, 8/28, 7:00-9:00PM @ 4265 Fairmount Avent, San Diego FB Event
- Austin Meetup: TWC Austin regular meetup: Saturday, 9/14, 7:00PM venue TBC Meetup Event
- SXSW: Tech Workers Coalition volunteers have submitted a bunch of panels for SXSW next year. SXSW has been overrun by corporate marketing teams in recent years. Let’s show up in spaces like this to share with workers alternative futures. Upvote all of them.
The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.
We Won’t Build It. Workers at Amazon showed up at work this week wearing “We Won’t Build It” pins. If you are trying to organize your work places these creative ideas are a visible way to get conversations started and demonstrate solidarity with your co workers.
Driver Caravan: On Monday August 26th hundreds of drivers will drive from LA to Sacramento advocating for AB5 and a union. Tech Crunch interviewed Annette, a driver, about it, a significant milestone in itself given Tech Crunch has been the media publication associated with pumping VC-backed startups and their hyper growth yet deeply disturbing business models.
The cloud-computing industrial complex: A fascinating and deeply reported piece in ProPublica on how billionaires like Eric Schmidt and Jeff Bezos have worked with consultants to weasel their way into lucrative military contracts.
Recruitment: Tech workers are refusing to work at Palantir.
WeWork Is Worried About Worker Protests: WeWork filed for an IPO and warned new investors that the prospect of workers going on strike is a potential risk to the performance of its stock. “If our employees were to engage in a strike or other work stoppage or interruption, our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity could be materially adversely affected,”. 😂
Facebook content moderators: Trauma counselors were pressured to divulge confidential information about Facebook moderators
Mea culpa: Reporter acknowledges he was wrong not to support unions a few years ago.
Twitter, Twitter, Everywhere
There’s now a bunch of Tech Workers Coalition twitter accounts. Follow them all to keep up with what workers in cities across the world are up to.
- New York
- Austin (welcome to the dumpster fire!)
- San Diego
- Washington D.C.
Song of the Week
All Bastards Are Bastards
9 to 5
10 to 6
12 to 12
8 to 8 I give you my labor, my blood, sweat, and tears
You don’t bother to pay me a living wage