Volume 5

Writers to the Front, AI to the Back

13 Jun 2023 Latest

Tomorrow, the Writers Guild of America is calling for an international day of solidarity for their strike. So today, we hear from L.E. Correia, a TV comedy writer and WGA member, about the union’s precedent-setting fight against corporate power grabs with AI. Over 11,500 members are holding the (picket) line while pushing for better pay, improved workplace conditions, and a new type of demand on the bargaining table: protection against AI plagiarism.

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Chatbots Can’t Care Like We Do: Helpline Workers Speak Out on World Eating Disorders Action Day

02 Jun 2023

Today, World Eating Disorders Action Day, we hear from Abbie and fellow workers of Helpline Associates United about their efforts to provide quality care to their community – in the face of union-busting by a faulty, dangerous chatbot currently all over the news. Their struggle at National Eating Disorders Association, a traumatized, flawed organization, is a clear case of the need for trauma-informed organizing and a helpline built from the ground-up.

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After the #EtsyStrike, Crafting a Co-op Alternative

30 May 2023

Today we hear from Valerie, a leather crafter and Etsy seller based in Oregon. After excitement around the 2022 #EtsyStrike evaporated, she and other artisans grew frustrated with strike organizers insistent on repeating the same strategies against the giant online marketplace. So, taking a little-known page from union history, Valerie and two co-founders formed a co-op to preserve the traditions, politics, and livelihood of handmade crafts.

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Why Our Union Contract is Stalled at Code for America

27 Apr 2023

Workers are building a union at Code for America, a nonprofit started in 2009 that now calls itself a company with a CEO. And two years after leadership slowly voluntarily recognized the union, CfA leadership is now also dragging its feet at the bargaining table. Senior software engineer Jacky Alciné tells us how he aligned his passions with his work, and how anti-union activity works in civic tech.

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Beware the Hype: ChatGPT Didn't Replace Human Data Annotators

04 Apr 2023

Last week, data annotation workers around the world woke up to news reports claiming that ChatGPT can label text more accurately than the human annotation workers on the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, AKA Mturk. Today, workers organizing for better working conditions with Turkopticon respond to these claims as people who do the actual data labeling work.

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Blowing the Whistle on TikTok Content Moderation

22 Mar 2023

Today, a content moderator completes their careful analysis of how TikTok misleads workers and the public about its overseas data storage and individual user tracking. This is not about a specific country – “I do not endorse the campaign by the US government to pathologize China” – but about protecting people wherever they are.

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Layoffs? Come to Italy, We'll Teach You How to Fight

07 Mar 2023

Today we hear from Laura, an Italian worker at a factory producing coffee machines, and part of a union that won a 100-day battle against relocation. Recently, Laura and fellow workers made headlines with a invitation: “To the workers of Facebook and Twitter being laid off, come to Gaggio Montano, we can teach you how to form a union like ours.” This story is printed in English and Italian.

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Who’s Cleaning Twitter?

28 Feb 2023

Today we hear from Twitter’s former cleaners, a group of unionized workers who are wondering who replaced them. Dozens of workers rallied last month at Twitter offices in San Francisco and New York to demand their jobs back, and they called on allies for support. If you can provide any information about the new (scab) cleaning company that Twitter contracted to replace these workers, email us at

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Volume 4

It’s Not Science, Just Surveillance (and it's Under Your Desk)

29 Nov 2022

Today we hear a story of swift collective action in the face of bad science. Last month, the Senior Vice Provost for Research at Northeastern University did worse than bad science; he installed heat sensors at groin level under the desks of graduate student workers, without their consent. So, the students, many of them PhD students in the Privacy and Cybersecurity Institute, organized to fight back. Within 24 hours the sensors, Northeastern removed the sensors. As similar interference creeps up at Carnegie Mellon University and other campuses worldwide, it’s a story worth sharing.

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Junkware is Elder Abuse and a Menace to Society

15 Nov 2022

The wave of tech workforce layoffs and radicalization continues, including thousands of Twitter content moderation workers and more workers last night who talked back to the boss. So today, we’re re-sharing this Layoff Guide for Twitter Workers, broadly applicable to all workers in and around tech. But to put things in perspective, we’re featuring a story by lifelong software wrangler Danilo Campos about fighting junkware to make computers functional for our elders.

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Critiquing Surveillance in San Diego with a Flying Photo Lab

08 Nov 2022

Welcome back to our regular newsletter. Today we hear from working artists beck and Katie, who are launching Floating Photo Studios over San Diego’s Hilltop Community Park over the course of four weekends. This project creates an environment for talking through and learning about the interrelated issues of surveillance, photography, power, and place. Park goers are invited to fly a kite with a camera, take pictures from the sky, and print them as postcards. On the last day of the project, the postcards are dispersed to everyone who has opted in to participate.

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On Oct. 19-21, Join our First Intergenerational Teach-In

15 Sep 2022

What do workers today need to learn from elders to guide future organizing?

Workers in tech are and have always been historical actors, but learning from history in a fast-paced industry is challenging – even the past few years can feel inaccessible. We hope to change that with this first intergenerational teach-in event. On October 19-21, we’re bringing together elder and younger workers in and around tech to share perspectives and learn skills for organizing, solidarity, and healing. By situating worker perspectives and collective actions in history, we’ll all be better equipped to face the demands of today’s workplaces and organize for the future ahead.

Register to attend the teach-in

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Workers Against Project Nimbus Calling to Community

26 Jul 2022

It’s been months since the last operation by Israeli armed forces caught public attention, but today we hear from members of Workers Against Project Nimbus, a major military contract for cloud computing. This coalition of workers at Google and Amazon and community members discuss the origin, vision, and impact of their efforts in the face of extreme pushback by management and fellow workers – and how they continue to grow.

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CWA Tech Unions, Then and Now

05 Jul 2022

Karen Estevenin talks about organizing since the early 2000s, including her experiences with WashTech, a CWA-affiliated campaign at Microsoft, Amazon, and other companies. Despite 20 years of changes in and around tech, the story remains the same: we can only count on worker solidarity to overcome union busting and internalized fears of becoming part of a union.

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Your coworker’s abortion story

28 Jun 2022

Today, a worker you might know shares her story of getting an abortion. We also offer a list of resources for abortion funds and mutual aid networks plus tips and toolkits for safe and secure abortion planning.

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Opera Singers and Coworkers Begin Chatbot Union Election

10 May 2022

Today is the start of elections for LOU (LISA Operators United), the workers behind AppFolio’s award-winning property management chatbot. While many were recruited from opera and classical music, a white, middle-class culture that can be more cut-throat than tech, the LOU crew has worked hard to overcome that background – as well as AppFolio’s management. If you have the means, consider supporting LOU’s mutual aid fund.

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The NY Times Tech Workforce and its Big, Boring Union

03 May 2022

With roughly 600 members, the Times Tech Guild is the country’s largest union with collective bargaining rights in or around tech. With all the flash and hype around tech, labor, and unions, software engineer Goran Svorcan shares a refreshingly boring account of the hard work that makes the excitement possible. He walks and talks through the journey from the early decision to build worker power with a union to the successful election and explains how the organizing effort sustains itself in the ebbs and flows of campaigning, card signing, filing, voting, and bargaining.

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Thousands of Drivers Unionizing Uber in Bangladesh

12 Apr 2022

In 2019, three youths in Bangladesh murdered an Uber driver. This spurred ‘app-based’ workers to move from protesting to forming unions in multiple cities and a national organization, The App-Based Drivers Union of Bangladesh. This nascent union demands ride-hail reform for workers’ rights in the face of hostility from app-based companies, abuse by riders, and the indifference of the state. Today, union members share the origins of their struggle and their bold, careful organizing to improve socio-economic conditions.

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From Belonging to Burnout, Five Years at Airbnb

05 Apr 2022

Airbnb brands itself as creating community and fostering belonging. Today, former Airbnb software engineer Sahil describes how “Airfam” ignores internal inequities among different workers and shuts down those who question its culture of overwork. Despite it all, Sahil and coworkers built a genuine community based on transparency and mutual respect.

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The HR Origins of Workplace Trauma

15 Mar 2022

Last month, user researcher Alba Villamil co-authored a study on common corporate responses to workplace dysfunction facing design professionals. Many of these “solutions” are just as traumatic as the crises they were meant to address. Today, Alba and anti-oppression consultant and educator Kim Tran talk about their respective work and possible ways forward for better workplaces.

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An Ethical Google, and Other Fairy Tales

08 Feb 2022

Last Wednesday, researchers Alex Hanna and Dylan Baker quit Google’s Ethical AI team and wrote letters about how Google maintains white supremacy and inequalities amongst their workforce. Both are joining the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, or DAIR, which Timnit Gebru formed after being fired in late 2020. Today, we’re reprinting both of their letters in full.

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An invitation to talk with fellow workers

01 Feb 2022

Our goal in this newsletter is mutual aid, tech workers for tech workers. The most valuable, enjoyable part of our process is talking with fellow workers – the stories we publish are a bonus.

Now, we invite you to talk with fellow workers too. To have a safe and trusting space with people in different workplaces but similar situations. To leverage experience among allies in labor and tech. To get perspective and get organized.

Sign up to give or get peer support.

We’ll reach out to everyone who fills in the form. And there’s more coming this fall, including an intergenerational teach-in that builds on our series about the IBM Black Workers Alliance.

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Abolitionist Cybernetics: Groceries from South Bay Mutual Aid

25 Jan 2022

People need groceries. Mutual aid projects need systems. Today, Erik talks about architecting the South Bay Mutual Aid project and volunteer network, which has helped move nearly $80,000 in groceries, diapers, and PPE to San Jose residents. It surfaces the formal and informal structures in any organizing effort, which cybernetics comrade Stafford Beer characterized for Chile’s socialized economy many decades ago. The ongoing effort demonstrates how tech systems work best with autonomy, accountability, and active efforts to counter the corporate nonprofit tendencies we pick up.

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Volume 3

Lessons from Poland: Amazon is international, but so are we

28 Dec 2021

Dear readers, death comes fast and slow at Amazon warehouses. Workers suffered a tornado in Illinois, COVID worldwide, and holiday season production exhaustion. Today, Polish warehouse worker Magda Malinowska talks about shop floor organizing and how Amazon failing to properly measure “energy expenditure” led to the fatal overwork of her coworker Darek. But while her union organizes to improve conditions, Amazon avoids accountability by escalating its anti-union campaign. As Amazon expands internationally, shop floor organizing requires international solidarity, too. In light of Magda’s recent firing, we decided to close this year by creating a fundraiser to support Magda’s organizing with her union – donate here.

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Demanding Performance Review Transparency for All Workers

21 Dec 2021

Today, life-long STEM nerd and former Amazon drone engineer Pat McGah shares his experience — from requesting transparency in order to make improvements, to discovering managerial malice called “unregretted attrition” and other strategies to force out workers, and finally, to organizing and demanding transparency for all workers in Washington state. Although transparency into workplace decisions seems like common sense when it comes to employee performance reviews, promotions, and firings, managers can legally hide almost anything they want.

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Fellow Instacart Office Workers, Listen to Shoppers

14 Dec 2021

Today, Kevin O’Connell shares his journey from pizza delivery to IT program manager at Instacart, where he almost didn’t listen to shoppers. And on December 15, shopper-organizers with Gig Workers Collective will be hosting a hybrid listening session to discuss ways to improve their work, live from Instacart HQ. After four years of making demands and winning concessions, GWC invites corporate workers to discuss what all workers can do for one another. Register for the listening session with Instacart shoppers here.

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Five demands to fix on-demand shopping

02 Nov 2021

Gig work doesn’t have to be so bad. Today, Sharon Goen of Gig Workers Collective tells us why she enjoyed shopping for Instacart over Amazon Flex, how one thing after another got worse, and what demands she and thousands of other shoppers have for Instacart to fix their job. For workers on the corporate side of gig economy companies, it’s free advice from shoppers who talked it out, did the math, and spelled out their demands.

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A Club is Not a Movement

26 Oct 2021

The free software movement aims to make technology for everyone, but its growth has been impeded by systemic harassment and gatekeeping – problems that don’t have technical solutions. Deb Nicholson, former Membership Coordinator and union co-steward at the Free Software Foundation, did her best to help the nonprofit serve the movement. But even with a strong union contract, toxic masculinity and elitism persisted, resulting in a space that often felt exclusive and uninviting to outsiders. That might be fine for a club, but a movement that is hostile to newcomers is limited in what it can achieve. Deb argues that troubleshooting these issues through ongoing organizing is necessary to liberate the free software movement from the people who are content with it remaining a small, secret club.

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My crew and I walked off a set

19 Oct 2021

Today we hear from Andy K-D, assistant cameraperson and IATSE member. The authorized IATSE strike, a historical first for “the union behind entertainment” with some 150,000 members, is still hanging in the balance between a negotiated arrangement and the membership approving it. Andy details his highly technical, highly stressful labor - but thankfully, with a crew and a union.

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How are we doing?

12 Oct 2021

We’re focusing on talking with fellow workers and featuring the worker’s perspective. But to do this effectively and with more care, we’d like to know:

How are we doing? And more importantly, how are you doing?

We’re curious what you think we should do more, less, or the same. We’d love to hear about your work situation and other context for your feedback. Email us at

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Yes you too can return the corporate gaze

21 Sep 2021

While #TechWontBuildIt helped energize tech worker organizing, tech accountability journalism is being powered by the very companies we seek to abolish. Jack Poulson argues that we must move beyond refusal – and organize around new tools to surveil these companies.

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The Lonely Art of Refusal

14 Sep 2021

Tomás S., a project manager at a digital agency, reflects on the global wage disparities in his industry, and shares his story of pressuring his employer to drop a dubious client.

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Summoning the Ghost in the Machine

06 Sep 2021

Phoenix Nomi reviews Silent Works, an art exhibition which highlights the role of hidden labor in contemporary capitalism, and reflects on their work transcribing audio for machines, knowing that the end result will automate their own job away.

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Against Apartheid: Lessons on Solidarity

12 Jul 2021

In the final piece in our series on worker organizing at IBM, we share edited excerpts from an oral history interview with James Leas, an engineer and lawyer who began working at IBM in 1977. During his two decades at IBM, Leas used a variety of tactics to pressure IBM to cut ties with South Africa’s apartheid government, organizing shareholders as well as employees in coalition with religious groups and labor unions. Leas’ efforts were innovative and exemplary, and we hope his methods can serve as a useful historical model for modern-day organizing.

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When Big Brother Is Your Boss

06 Jul 2021

Today we share excerpts from an oral history interview conducted with Marceline Donaldson, who worked at IBM in the 1970s and experienced firsthand the oppressive culture that persisted in the face of the company’s integration efforts. Donaldson delves into the mechanisms that IBM used to dilute worker power as well as her steps toward forming a union, which led to IBM’s retaliation against her.

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The System is Rigged

28 Jun 2021

Today we share excerpts from an oral history with Dr. Richard Hudson of the IBM Black Workers Alliance. The interview explores how exposing a rigged system creates space for solidarity; how workers used the IBM BWA-NY Newsletter as an organizing tool; and how an unsuccessful NLRB case nevertheless proved useful for future generations.

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In Search of the IBM Black Workers Alliance

19 Jun 2021

Today, ann haeyoung introduces an oral history & research project featuring interviews with workers at IBM who organized in the 60s, 70s, and 80s for decent work conditions for Black employees, and for the company to boycott South Africa’s apartheid government. Their efforts took more determination and commitment than we might appreciate as workers and organizers today.

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Issue 11: Tech Work Under the Pandemic - Materials Engineer

08 Apr 2021

Today we talk with Isabella R., nanomaterials engineer and a Midwesterner who lives in the Seattle area. Until recently, she worked on VR headsets at Facebook Reality Labs, but the pandemic and her contracting arrangement created a hierarchy of safety and control. And having previously worked at a legacy ‘tech’ company with excellent compensation and benefits for all employees, Isabella found Facebook’s arrangement less that satisfactory. She believes the path to a better future includes fighting for racial and climate justice, and increasing accessibility and representation in tech and higher education.

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Issue 10: Civis' pro-labor, pro-union claims should apply to workers

01 Apr 2021

Special feature today: the worker’s perspective from 11 data scientists fired while organizing a union. Their employer? It emerged from the 2012 Obama campaign, and some of its best clients are unions. But as fired worker Sunny Rao said in this Intelligencer story also out today, “I’m starting to hate the word progressive, because it feels so meaningless now.” In their statement, seven of the workers say the company’s pro-labor, pro-union claims should start in-house.

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Issue 9: Tech Work Under the Pandemic - Cleaner and App Co-Owner

01 Apr 2021

Today, TWC volunteer Ana Ulin interviews Marve Romero, a domestic worker and cleaning app Up & Go co-owner. Marve is a Latina that enjoys working in community. She is a member of the East Harlem Cleaning Cooperative, which belongs to the larger Up & Go cooperative. During the pandemic, Marve participates in workshops, meetings, and training online. She and fellow worker-owners also added new cleaning services, recruited more workers, & got featured in the New York Times. She always seeks to deepen her cooperativist spirit.

Hoy, Ana Ulin de TWC entrevista a Marve Romero, una trabajadora doméstica y co-dueña de Up & Go. Marve es una mujer Latina que disfruta del trabajo en comunidad. Es miembra de la Cooperativa East Harlem Cleaning, la cual pertenece a la membresía de Up & Go, que es también una cooperativa. Durante Covid, participa en talleres, reuniones y entrenamientos vía internet. Marve y sus compañerxs expandieron sus servicios y su membresía—y aparecieron en el New York Times. Busca siempre desarrollar su espíritu cooperativista.

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Issue 8: Tech Work Under the Pandemic - Software Engineer

25 Mar 2021

Today we get to know Zuyi Chen, a Chinese-Canadian software engineer who works in the Chicago area and recently left one job at legal analytics company to become a full-time engineer at a finance firm in Chicago. This interview is part of our series in collaboration with Data & Society featuring people who build and work with tech, and who are organizing in unique, context-specific ways to build worker power in the tech industry. In conversation with Data & Society Digital Content Associate Natalie Kerby and TWC volunteer Danny Spitzberg, Zuyi describes how the pandemic amplified the precarity around his immigration status.

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Issue 7: Tech Work Under the Pandemic - Wi-Fi Network Engineer

18 Mar 2021

Today we hear from R. Leonard, a Haitian-American network engineer who, as a part of his contracted work, has spent time in hospitals before and during the pandemic to configure their Wi-Fi networks. This interview is part of our series in collaboration with Data & Society, spotlighting people who build and work with tech, who are organizing in unique, context-specific ways to build worker power in the tech industry. In conversation with Data & Society Labor Futures Program Director Aiha Nguyen, R. Leonard discusses how the pandemic has illuminated stark power imbalances within his workplace and often led him to take his safety into his own hands.

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Issue 6: Tech Work Under the Pandemic

10 Mar 2021

Yesterday, Turker and AI worker Sherry Stanley wrote about pushing Amazon and task requesters for fair pay and recognition. She and other Turkers are now requesting tech worker support for their worker-led organizing. Building on that, today we’re introducing a new series in collaboration with Data & Society. Over the coming weeks, we’ll feature interviews with people who build and work with tech, who are organizing in unique, context-specific ways to build worker power in the tech industry. And if you want to share your story, start here.

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Issue 5: Living in the Hidden Realm of AI

09 Mar 2021

Today we have allied perspectives from workers in AI. Sherry Stanley, a Turker who lives in rural West Virginia, talks about worker-led organizing against poor treatment by Amazon Mechanical Turk and requesters who post tasks. She and other Turker-Organizers contribute labor essential to building machine learning systems, but don’t get rewards or credit. They ask fellow tech workers and AI researchers to support their campaigns and infrastructure with recurring donations to Turkopticon, the forum they run. We have a statement by organized Google workers in solidarity with Google’s Ethical AI team co-leads, Dr. Margaret Mitchell and Dr. Timnit Gebru. It includes calls to protect workers and to support them by “walking out” on sponsorships and funding until we see real change for everyone working in tech and AI.

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Issue 4: Castes of Technology

05 Feb 2021

Workers of the world wide web, you asked for international perspectives. So, in the news this week, we’re talking about caste in California, farmer protests in India, Rihanna on Twitter, Russian Yandex drivers on strike, surveillance in libraries,… and, GameStop. Also, events are back – RSVP for a movie night, edit-a-thon, and TWIST (Tech Worker Interview Skills Training) mutual aid. As always, we’re here to help you write your worker’s perspective. Check out our open call here.

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Issue 3: Unions or Busting?

22 Jan 2021

New year, new format! We’re focusing more on news and history, and making the worker’s perspective its own feature. In the news, it’s been a hectic few weeks but unions, union busting, and tracking extremism stood out. We revisit Carnegie’s philanthropy legacy, and share a new track about labor struggles by Riderz With Attitude, an Italian bike courier group.

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Issue 2: Tech Workers Stand With Gig Workers Against Prop 22 Going National

14 Jan 2021

Inspired by worker organizing and Tech Workers for Tech Workers, we’re making commitments. In 2020 we saw Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and other “gig” companies spend over $205 million to deceive voters and remove worker rights in California. These companies are already using the same playbook to push their substandard, “low-rights” worker classification nationwide. Now, volunteers in TWC are preparing to organize our peers in solidarity with our coworkers who do app-based work. Read and sign our solidarity statement.

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Issue 1: Googlers Are Forming a Union

04 Jan 2021

Happy 2021 and happy Monday! We usually publish every other Friday, but we wanted to share some breaking news today: 250 workers at Google and its parent company Alphabet just announced that they are forming a union, open to all employees and contractors. Software engineer and union member Raksha Muthukumar – who previously wrote about telling the truth about ‘tech for good’ – explains why and how they will try to change Google for the better.

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Volume 2

Issue 16: The Worker's Perspective on 2020

01 Jan 2021

For our last issue of 2020, we collected excerpts from the worker’s perspective throughout the year. Together, these quotes paint a picture of the good, the bad, and the ugly in tech labor organizing, all from the worker’s perspective. We also made a playlist! And to start 2021, we invite you to help us launch a new interview series that will foster relationships between workers building tech, using tech, and being used by tech.

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Issue 15: Seasons Greetings from your CEO at TECH COMPANY

27 Nov 2020


Hello employees — or should I say independent contractors?! (More on that shortly.) I’m writing to you from my second mansion located in ECONOMICALLY DESTABILIZED COUNTRY IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH EXPLOITED BY UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM! I see the poor children here, and it just reminds me how privileged all of us are to live in a virtuous place like Silicon Valley (at least when I’m there, lol) where we pretend homeless people simply don’t exist. And if they do, it’s because they didn’t try hard enough to do a startup or they didn’t have enough generational wealth to do financial crimes.

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Issue 13: Don't let Uber get away with it

30 Oct 2020

Welcome back. In this issue, former Uber engineer Eddy Hernandez shares his story about the company’s in-house army pushing Prop 22, and how office workers are being coerced to support it just like their coworkers, the drivers. We stand with all workers organizing against Prop 22, an attempt by Uber and other gig companies to cut rideshare and delivery drivers out of established labor protections. And beyond Prop 22, we cover new research on tech company tax dodging, racist surveillance and political censorship, music streaming workers demanding fair pay, and an app selling gig workers a place to pee.

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Issue 11: Listen: You Are Not Alone

02 Oct 2020

In this issue, Clarissa Redwine, tech worker and organizer, shares her recollections of the successful unionization effort at Kickstarter, and invites us to learn more in her podcast. In the news, workers continue speaking out against ICE contracts and political manipulation, while new tech and media countermeasures emerge. Also, a history of the Pullman Strike, and a song about train monopolies from 1882.

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Issue 10: Wages of Short-Lived Startups

04 Sep 2020

After eight grueling years stitching together a design career, Vikram Rojo shares how bonds with friends and family, plus ad-hoc tweets, helped him break into and break free from a string of startups and their bureaucratic traps. He considers himself lucky, and demands the real question: how might we as tech workers demand more than pay, but dignity? How can we all get a decent job, a home, and a chance to get by?

Meanwhile, in the news, landlords are using data to enable evictions, but workers are showing how innovation and demands go together. And in history, some lesser-known and politically powerful pages of Black Panther comics.

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Issue 8: A future worth planting for

07 Aug 2020

Roger Janus, an organizer with TWC Seattle, offers a hopeful perspective on how organizing may seem insignificant and arduous at times, but can achieve wins over the course of a multi-generational struggle. Meanwhile, tech worker organizing is on fire.

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Issue 6: Beyond the Bread and Butter

10 Jul 2020

Ari Laurel, an organizer with TWC Seattle, reflects on her experience with the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. She connects it to tech workers’ struggles, and considers the role that organizers can play in it all.

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Issue 5: Leaving the bubble for Texas

26 Jun 2020

R.K., a controls engineer and yet another Californian to leave the Bay Area, talks about quitting his union tech job to do techno-scientific experiments at a rural Texas electric co-op. Meanwhile, Juneteenth and continued protests pull the façade off of tech companies.

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Issue 4: No Justice, no Peace, no Tech for Police

12 Jun 2020

We are in a powerful Black revolution with sudden widespread support. Weeks of protests against racist policing, sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minnesota Police, are leading to calls to defund the police, tear down statues of oppressors, and end the use of technology for racist surveillance. This issue features reflections from several Black tech workers.

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Issue 2: Who calls the shots?

15 May 2020

Who calls the shots at Tesla Motors? Is it the workers who collectively build all the products that generate the company’s wealth? No, it’s the company’s multi-billionaire CEO, who recently threw a fit on Twitter over COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders that would delay resuming production. How does he manage to get away with that?

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Issue 1: How do we help each other?

01 May 2020

Today is May Day, International Workers Day, and #EssentialWorkersDay. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it becomes increasingly clear how much our economy depends on the workers who have been deemed “essential”. Yet these workers are rarely given the protective equipment they need — not to mention decent wages or benefits — proving that “essential” really means “sacrificial”. Chris Smalls, an Amazon warehouse worker and organizer fired last month, shared a video montage with dozens of essential workers protesting for better working conditions at Instacart, Shipt, Amazon warehouses, and your neighborhood Whole Foods. Today, they are on strike with a list of demands.

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Volume 1

Issue 53: The fight is truly on for gig workers in California. Which side are you on?

30 Aug 2019

Since Uber launched in 2009 they’ve gone out of their way to skirt labor protections and treat workers like mere cogs in their all conquering algorithm. Earlier this year a bill proposed in California tried to change that, it’s called AB 5. This bill would codify into law a ruling by the Supreme Court of California last year, known as Dynamex, which established a three-part test to determine whether someone would be considered an independent contractor or an employee under California’s labor law. Under this test drivers for Uber and Lyft would be considered employees.

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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.

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Issue 50: TWC Bangalore: Hello and welcome!

14 Jun 2019

Hello all from the newly emerging TWC Bangalore local!

Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India, and it was inevitable that the first TWC chapter in India would start here. Unionisation has a long history in India with the first trade union set up in 1918. Recently, there have been multiple unionisation efforts for the IT industry, with unions like F.I.T.E (Forum for IT employees), K.I.T.U (Karnataka State IT Employees Union). 

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Issue 49: Stop coding state violence

31 May 2019

Scholars tell UC Berkeley to cut ties with Palantir

Berkeley Law hosted a top privacy and law conference this week. Since 2011 the conference has received sponsorship from Palantir and this year hundreds of academics decided they have had enough in light of the recent revelation that Palantir’s technology was used to separate families. Over 300 of them signed a letter put out by the Latinx advocacy group Mijente, calling on the event organizers to drop Palantir sponsorship.

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Issue 48: Desconexión mundial

17 May 2019

On Wednesday May 8, hundreds of drivers, workers and other demonstrators shut off Uber for hours in several cities around the world. The action was coordinated by drivers who have been organizing for livable wages and greater voice and agency in their work. Last night we got to talk to one of the drivers who helped make it happen; the below is a transcript of the stories and reflections he’s wanted to share in the aftermath of last week’s action. Halfway through our conversation when I heard him address a restaurant worker and heard the car blinker resume when he got back in, I realized he had been driving between restaurants for Uber eats deliveries—he said that he mostly drives passengers but has to do some food delivery too to get through the maze of requirements Uber sets for drivers to earn a “bonus”.

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Issue 47: I don't want to bring my full self to work

03 May 2019

This week our friends curating and publishing the zine Bug Report! released issue 2. The submissions featured in this issue explore that not-quite-right feeling we get in our stomach when execs talk about equity and working toward equal representation, and the ways conferences like Lesbians Who Tech hold up the corporate infrastructure of inequality as much as they provoke it.

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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.

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Issue 40: 135 ways to stop the boss

15 Mar 2019

News broke on Monday of a second case of Google’s multi-million dollar payout for a perpetrator of sexual harassment. The next day workers across the industry took to Twitter under the hashtag #GooglePayoutsForAll to shed light on a system that allocates wealth to abusers at the expense of the workers on the bottom.

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Issue 38: Stop wage theft for DoorDash drivers

01 Mar 2019

Workers are holding DoorDash accountable for a dishonest tipping policy that shortchanges drivers and puts more money in management’s pockets.

In an open letter published today (instructions for signing here), signers demonstrate solidarity with drivers and workers who are bringing attention to DoorDash’s wage theft practices. The letter’s demands include a $15 per hour pay floor for all drivers, plus tips.

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Issue 37: Microsoft workers challenge "lethal" Hololens

22 Feb 2019

Microsoft workers have demanded that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, terminate the $480 million Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) contract with the US Army, which they describe as a way to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage”. Their demand letter, which includes dozens of employee signatures and counting, argues Microsoft has “crossed the line into weapons development,” and that “intent to harm is not an acceptable use of our technology.”

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Issue 35: Closing the door to this way of life

08 Feb 2019

Waheed Etimad was working full time as an Uber driver to support his spouse and seven children. He migrated here with his family four years ago and he was studying to become a computer engineer. He was killed while working on Sunday night. Uber will pay no workers comp death benefits for his family. There will be no life insurance pay out. In life, Waheed was a unit of profit for Uber. In death, he is nothing to them. 

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Issue 34: Data-sucking apps prey on uninformed consumers

01 Feb 2019

We cherish the reminder this week’s App Store drama affords us: the tech bosses will go to any lengths necessary to exploit all humans’ data and advance their domination; and there’s little holding them accountable other than violating the terms of service of likewise domination-minded platforms.

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Issue 31: The tech industry is broken

11 Jan 2019

This excerpt and the image that follows are from Bug Report! Issue 1.

The tech industry is broken.

For a while, it mostly went unnoticed. From tech startups to the Frightful Five, venture capital and new markets made the industry willfully blind to the damage inflicted by their products and services. Tech bros dominated workplaces, making offices havens for sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination, as well as just plain old crappy places to work. For a while, most of us bought into the Californian Ideology, that notion—peddled hardest by “thought leaders” and CEOs—that technology is unconditionally good and would mean wealth and opportunity for everyone.

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Issue 29: Building power from the ground up

14 Dec 2018

In 2016, Silicon Valley tech company cafeterias employed only 65 unionized workers. Two years and countless hours of organizing effort later, 1,400 of Silicon Valley’s cafeteria workers have union representation. On Monday night, we gathered in San Francisco to hear stories of that work from the women who lead the campaigns.

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Issue 25: Google Walkout Ripples Across the Industry

09 Nov 2018

When the boss “reaches out” to ask if we want to help build facial recognition for ICE, we say no. When the boss says shipping is “free” when in fact it is a costly, dangerous burden carried on the broken backs of workers, we say no. When the boss squashes workers with surveillance, union-busting and exploitation, we fight back with collective action. 

Save this rejection letter to your clipboard for the next time you need to tell the boss NO.

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Issue 21: The Global Struggle to Survive

12 Oct 2018

Over the last week, TWC peeps got to spend time with the author of Striking to Survive: Workers’ Resistance to Factory Relocations in China and his partner as part of their U.S. book tour. Before coming to the Bay Area, they did talks throughout the Northeast, then again in the Midwest, before coming out West. Along the way, they did several interviews with seasoned veterans of shopfloor struggles since the 1960s. One of us shares an account of our time together:

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Issue 20: So Too Shall We

05 Oct 2018

On Wednesday, Tech Workers Coalition was recognized by Working Partnerships USA with a Solidarity Champion Award for organizing a movement inside the tech industry to demand transparency and justice for workers, immigrants, and communities affected by tech near and far. Read on for the full remarks from the courageous TWC volunteer who took the stage to accept the award:

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Issue 18: The workers are on strike

21 Sep 2018

Thousands of workers on strike this week from East London to the Bay Area is filling us with confidence and optimism as we head into the weekends. More and more workers are standing up and taking action to change their conditions.

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Issue 12: The boss needs you, you don’t need the boss

10 Aug 2018

The boss is starting to fight back.

The usual suspects – Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, Postmates, TaskRabbit, Square, and Handy – just cosigned a letter addressed to Governor Jerry Brown’s labor secretary, begging him to overturn the CA Supreme Court “Dynamex” ruling, that would require these gig platforms to recognize their “contractors” as full-time employees. That means companies like Uber would have to start following minimum wage and overtime laws, in addition to paying workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and payroll taxes.

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Issue 10: Microsoft, #CancelTheContract!

27 Jul 2018

Now is the time when the people who are paid to administer injustice stand up to stop it.

The actions of activists at Microsoft offices around the country this week have shown that the #techwontbuildit movement has grown so much bigger than we could have ever imagined.

Yesterday, Microsoft workers joined with activists from @ColorofChange to deliver over 300,000 signatures to Microsoft demanding that the company cancel its contract with ICE.

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Issue 9: Workers are keeping the heat on high for Salesforce, Amazon, Microsoft

20 Jul 2018

Money, it turns out, can’t buy you friends. Besieged by employee calls to #CancelTheContract with CBP, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff offered to donate $250,000 to Texas nonprofit RAICES, to draw attention away from the contract. RAICES refused the donation, sending shockwaves through the industry: “We will not be a beneficiary of your effort to buy your way out of ethical responsibility.”

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Issue 6: Why Tech Worker Dissent Is Going Viral

29 Jun 2018

The labor of tech industry workers is essential to ICE’s continuing operations. Any tool, program, or database used in ICE’s workflow directly enables the separation of families and the kidnapping of children. When our employers empower ICE, we do not stay silent; we build power to shut ICE down.

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Issue 4: Tech Bosses At The Border

15 Jun 2018

Peter Thiel exploiting handouts from the government, Founders Fund pitch decks shared over Chick-fil-A, a Lord of the Rings collector sword, MythBusters’ final fall from grace—these details are only the tip of the iceberg of horror behind Oculus founder’s latest venture: a VR forcefield inside “Call of Duty goggles” for detecting and trapping border crossers. Read and wallow in despair—then get moving because y’all, we’ve got work to do.

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Issue 3: Tech Workers Coalition Update 6/8

08 Jun 2018

Jacobin Gets The Inside Scoop on How Google Workers Organized to Stop Project Maven

Last Friday, Google announced that it will not renew its contract with the US military for Project Maven.  In a revealing interview, an anonymous Googler shared what went down inside the company as workers organized to halt the project. It’s a riveting read, full of powerful insights as workers elsewhere begin to take up the mantle. From the interview:

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Issue 1: Power to the imagination

25 May 2018

Fifty years ago this May, over 10 million French workers joined protesting students in the largest general strike that ever stopped the economy of an advanced industrial country, and the first wildcat general strike in history. Striking workers occupied 122 factories all across France, crippling the economy and nearly toppling the government. The rebellion wasn’t participated in by a lone demographic, such as workers or students, but was a popular uprising that superseded ethnic, cultural, age and class boundaries.

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