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Thursday, September 27, 2007


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Was anything done to confirm how many of the "protesters" were actual IBM employees, and not, say interested bystanders or press?

Hamlet Au

The organizers told me they had a counter they were using to track registrants, and that's the figure they had at the end; that's why I say "claim 1850". However, based on the number of protesters I saw when there and assuming the traffic rates held up when I wasn't, I think that's a plausible claim. With protests, of course, there's always a debate on what the actual numbers were.

Jaymin Carthage

The 1850 number is a fair amount higher than what my cameras counted, but not by much more than the differences in counts between protesters and police in real life. :-) My cameras were just the normal ones to track traffic, and weren't specifically placed to count protesters. And we all know that counting people in Second Life is not an exact science. I've dived in a little deeper in my blog above (such as IBMers vs non-IBMers). But I'm not an official IBM spokesperson so it's still pretty vague. Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to post raw numbers for everyone to argue over. :-)

Hamlet Au

Please do!

This is like during a real world anti-war protest, do you count the Free Mumia crowd who always showsup? It's just that here, the question is do you count the banana and the triangle and anti-Korea stack of discs?


Free counters in SL aren't very sophisticated...and the others are very expensive.
The founder of Envirolink and owner of the Commonwealth Island placed 3 free counters on the Central Platform that recorded unique visitors every 5 seconds. This is how we got to those figures. I think what matters is that a lot of people came to the event, IBMers or not! And what matters even more is what will we do next if IBM don't go back to the negotiations table to discuss a better deal for its workers in Italy?

Barillo Kohnke

Breakthrough at IBM Italy

One month after a virtual protest staged in Second Life with almost 2’000 avatars demonstrating on IBM islands, a new contract with IBM Italy has been signed.

The new agreement, which still needs to be approved by the IBM Italy workforce, reinstates the performance bonus that was cut unilaterally by IBM Italy management.

The agreement signed by IBM Italy and the trade union Rappresentanze Sindacali Unitarie (R.S.U.) not only includes the performance bonuses from 2007 up until 2010 but also payments by IBM into a national health insurance fund and also states that negotiations will continue with respect to IBM industrial and business strategies in Italy and the improvement of internal communication policies.

The situation abruptly improved and negotiation resumed after the former country manager left IBM in the mid of October, who had signed responsible for the pay cuts in the first place. His departure cleared the air and facilitated constructive negotiations between social partners as this could be expected from a professional management of a high-tech company.

The virtual demonstration organized on 27 September for a whole day has certainly had an impact on the positive development. Almost 2’000 virtual protestors from 30 countries populating IBM premises in Second Life solicited an unprecedented media echo from all over the world, including TV and radio stations, daily news papers, computer and business magazines. The virtual protest had been supported by global unions such as the International and European Metalworkers Federations (IMF and EMF) and UNI Global Union.

The threat of strike action in the “real world” by the Italian unions after the virtual protest has certainly also helped to break the deadlock. Yet, the impact of this historical action in Second Life must not be underestimated.

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