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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


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Ann Otoole

should not be too long before the indie and other non US companies begin "out out sourcing" to employ the millions in the US that will be needing a minimum wage job top pay for $5 per gallon gas and buy rice and beans to eat daily to survive.

your not going to give a hoot about unions when you are hungry.

Jaymin Carthage

What, again? Other than a splash in the press they didn't achieve much last time. I'm an IBMer and I've never heard of the problems they claim to be representing. I don't know of any jobs in my division that have been outsourced. It isn't really how IBM does things. We have a global staff. What would be the point? Sounds to me like someone is trying to set the stage for a political career and is willing to dupe any old mug in Second Life who will hold a sign and see it is validation of their medium without getting into the actual (non) issues.

johninnit ni

I think the last one may have been a little more successful than Jaymin suggests - they got back to negotiation after management had refused to talk for the best part of a year, and were given back the money they'd had cut from their pay, which sounds like a reasonable result for a protest. It was restricted to IBM Italy, so I guess no wonder he didn't hear much about it. :)

The outsourcing in this case is not an inter-country issue (as Jaymin says, they're international anyway), but an inter-company issue, with thousands of IBM staff being transfered out to other companies such as AT&T and Ricoh. They'll do in effect the same jobs for IBM, but without consultation, and losing the terms and the job security they had as IBM employees. The protestors were asking for IBM to handle this in a more sensitive way, look for voluntary transfers where possible instead of forcing people, and recognise the committment of their staff, many of whom have been working for IBM for a long time.

(Interest disclosed: I'm involved with the Union Island project, which is an SL home for unionists in general - and I attended some of the protest event last night)

Jaymin Carthage

Jaymin followed the previous "protest" quite closely. There is no indication whatsoever that managements actions in that dispute were in any way influenced by a "protest" in Second Life mostly composed of people that were not at all related to IBM. There is no evidence that the Union's activities in Second Life were anything other than a cheap attempt to grab some publicity. This attempt appears to be no different.
I don't really have a comment on IBM's actions other than the fact that none of my many European colleagues have mentioned this. Just that this Union appears to be using Second Life in the same hype-filled way that we normally criticize big corporates for doing.

johninnit ni

Hey Jaymin. Yes you're right that we're just guessing management's motives after the last protest - I don't know what went on behind closed doors after negotiations with the union resumed - and as big an influence may have well been the RL strikes that were starting to be planned in Italy. My guess though is that the publicity (or indeed hype) woke up the IBM mothership (which is proud of its overall record as a good place to work) to what was happening in its Italian outpost and helped overturn management's intransigence in refusing to even negotiate over the pay cut. If the protest wasn't a factor in changing their mind after the best part of a year of refusing to talk, then it's a very happy co-incidence ;)

My take on this one (admittedly similarly wildly speculating tho!) is that it was also partly about bringing activists from IBM unions/works councils in different countries together to meet up for the first time on an issue that affects people across borders (Network Service Delivery and Printing Systems/ PSD maintenance functions at the moment, but they're worried about future areas from what I can tell), so whilst the last one may have been mostly non-IBM (don't know but am very prepared to believe it), I think this one was a bit less general in who attended - most people I talked to seemed to be IBM.

Ray Pairan Jr.

With continued refinements in coercion, and control the exploiting class was able to enhance their influence over the population even within newly founded democracies with the affect being the subversion of the true democratic process to their favor. By exerting their will directly or through agents (lobbyists) they are to this day able to guide the economic society in the direction that benefits them to the exclusion of the working class. Through illusory social constructs infused into religion, government, and the social consciousness of the economic society that they control – a modicum of actual equity is conveyed to the working class. If we pull back the shroud of marketing bliss, perceived justice, religious compliance, and equity based social consciousness we find reality – an uninhibited greed permeating every aspect of our currently business elite controlled totalitarian ‘free market’ economic society.

The driving force that propels the unrelenting march of the global economic society across a wasted expanse of Africa, food depleted poor regions, inadequate or no healthcare, exploitation of workers basic human rights, repressive governments that disregard the will of their citizens, ecological destruction, religious conflicts resulting from a conflict of different forms of economic society is the gospel of greed.

Doomed to failure the current economic society continues to reduce consumption (spending) as a direct result of disenfranchising or exploiting the majority of the global citizens. The realization of this mal-distribution of income if it is apparent to the exploiting business elite will not inhibit them from their continued short sided extraction of global wealth at the expense of the citizens of this world. This is because greed becomes an addition that blocks out all reality even to those who are able to see through the illusory shroud of unreality that they’ve created. Their drive is a continued beat of wealth accumulation that is a hunger more intense than any primal desire.

The working class must rise up against a totalitarian economic society that debases the most basic human rights. We must educate, protest, take back our governments, organize, infiltrate existing institutions of power, expose reality, disregard the placating unreality conveyed through the media, and coordinate our efforts across the numerous divides that separate our common desires. Our action must begin today not tomorrow – tomorrow is too bleak to consider.

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