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Labor in Big Tech Conversations
February 7 at 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Short URL: https://siliconvalleydsa.org/?p=8174
Per our charter, one of the major objectives of the Labor Working Group of Silicon Valley DSA is to reach a point where all workers in Silicon Valley are unionized with the eventual goal that all Silicon Valley companies will be controlled by workers. The Labor WG is having an ongoing series of conversations about how best to reach that goal, specifically by focusing on the role of Labor in Big Tech and the concrete actions we as SV-DSA can take.
Since our last meeting, there has been a huge development: workers at Google have announced their formation of a solidarity union, the Alphabet Workers’ Union! With this exciting announcement, workers in tech have taken a huge step towards building and organizing their labor power. We will continue our discussions about what we as SV-DSA can do to support this burgeoning organizing effort and how to encourage other workers in tech to take the step to organize their collective power.
The extensive resources of Big Tech companies creates a difficult organizing environment, but SV-DSA can take specific actions to provide community support. One role to fill is an education role: encouraging tech workers to see themselves as workers and helping more people see unionization as an option. Beyond the typical bread-and-butter union issues of wages and benefits, one role unions fill is giving workers autonomy and control over the fruits of their labor. Raising consciousness of tech workers to recognize themselves as members of the working class will empower them to more effectively wield their collective labor power.
Another role to fill is in building solidarity between blue collar and white collar workers in tech. High-wage tech workers can be viewed can be viewed with hostility as a source of gentrification. In truth, even well-compensated workers in tech have more in common with low wage workers than with the leaders of tech companies. Moreover, not all workers in tech are high-paid software developers. Building solidarity across job titles in tech and between tech workers and other industries will help move towards a worker-controlled Silicon Valley.
The emphasis of our conversations will be on concrete actions we can take as SV-DSA to support Labor in Big Tech. All are welcome to join. Our next meeting is Sunday, February 7 from 4:30-5:30.