The social network for trade unionists.

Social Network Unionism


Social Network Unionism

Building a bottom-up transnational unionism that will hack the capitalist mode of production and lead the way towards mature and advanced, joyful, positive, creative alternative world civilizations.  

Website: http://snuproject.wordpress.com/
Location: Everywhere
Members: 85
Latest Activity: Aug 30

An open invitation for inventing a 'common' and grassroots social movement union for the 21st Century

Hundreds of millions not if billions of workers in the world are out of reach for the established trade union mechanisms and structures, so they are not protected at all. Peter Waterman calls them 'Labour's others', for some others they are the new working class; the precariat composed of people who holds no property and even secure job.

What kind of trade union structure will go beyond the ongoing problems and the crisis of unionism, which was born out of well known problems and will become the change maker of our time. Can Unionbook ensemble a model for such future union organisation through the net?

There are already many good examples of action and organising taking place via the net and incredible results are getting reached , as it happened in 2007 when financial support has been mobilized from the wealthier segments of the Western working classes for the Ford worker's first ever strike organised in Russia since the beginning of the 20th Century.

For already some times social networks are gaining ground as an important and dynamic forms of communication and collective action tools. Many activists are  involved today in one or another social network on the net, or on the real world. Is time came to transform  this tool into a new generation social movement union.

There is a  need to start discussion can this happen, can it work, and how? How would we build and gain legal ground for such a union, is it possible, or necessary? How would such union look like, be governed and function against the offensive coming from the employer and the state?

'Social Network Unionism' working group has recently been created with the aim of promoting such discussion and providing a space for comprehensive work in order to experiment with Social Network Union idea by utilizing the opportunity created by LabourStart team and Eric Lee, by creating the unique space of Unionbook and bringing hundreds of unionist together on the net.

I want to suggest that this is actually the discussion towards the New Unionism for the 21st century. With this call I would like to invite all who involved one way or other in labour and trade union movements to join and contribute this working group.


The initial discussion and exchange below on the Comment Wall has been a clustering around the SNU idea, its definition, possible implications, usage etc. To provide clarity and focus for the overall dlscussion I have suggested to split the discussion into two piece.

Below forum now can focus on what is SNU about, its definition, it's feasibility, cotribution, usefullness, limits, how can we promote the concept within existing unions? and so on.

For such discussion, Peter HJ's New Unionism, SIGTUR's TNCs, and PSI's own experiements here in UnionBook provide live examples of developing SNU.

For the second line of discussion a group has been created. Focus of that discussion has been suggested as actually how to create one global grassroots social network union, in order to complete the first discussion by both pressurring on existing unions to change -without contending them-and challneging capital and state elite to stop attacing on life, peace and justice immediately -by bringing all progreesive and revolutionary social forces into one counter hegemonic bloc.        


Discussion Forum

experiences with Facebook and alternatives 7 Replies

Started by Kirsten Forkert. Last reply by Joseph Skues Jan 25, 2013.

June 30 strike site blocked by Facebook 4 Replies

Started by Kirsten Forkert. Last reply by Orsan Senalp Jun 21, 2011.

Saving UnionBook by transforming it into a Social Network Union 3 Replies

Started by Orsan Senalp. Last reply by Philip Lillies Aug 4, 2011.

Unions and Real Democracy, Yes, Now, but How? 2 Replies

Started by Orsan Senalp. Last reply by Orsan Senalp Aug 3, 2011.

Social Network Unionism Blog

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:50

Dialogue between Bertram M. Niessen and Geert Lovink on precarious ...

Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

BMN: There is a struggle going on between different views of the ownership of the data produced and shared throughout the Web. While companies and governments are claiming for a stronger copyright control, individual users and on-line communities are reclaiming open-source oriented solutions that redefine many immaterial products as digital commons. You have different ideas about the solutions to face this critical situation, especially regarding the nature of commons. How do you frame the contemporary situation from this point of view? And what future scenarios do you forecast?

GL: I am not a copyright expert nor an active Creative Commons evangelist. As a radical pragmatist I use Creative Commons as often as possible. My take on this issue has been to question the uncritical use of terms such as ‘free’ and ‘open’. We should no longer listen to (free) software experts in this regard as they are still in demand in terms of employment, worldwide, and have turned out to be bad advisers when it comes to organizing sustainable sources of income for designers, artists, musicians, writers and others in the ‘content’ business. The question whether computer programmers have the freedom to change code has been too long in the centre of attention. If we care about the so-called precarious creative workers we should shift our attention away from the professions that are (still) able to organize their own income (such as programmers and academics) and start to theorize the new digital labor conditions of the global creative classes and come up with viable alternatives. Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:49

They are exploiting us! Why we all work for Facebook for free | via...


The stockmarket floatation of Facebook brings together a range of issues in how we understand work and the creation of economic value but we should be careful not to overstate the novelty and conflate the newness of the media with the basic economic logic at work here. As Chris Prener suggests in his post, ‘Facebook may represent a new frontier for work and labor where eve..., but is this really so new?

In their now classic study of traditional media, Manufacturing Consent, Herman and Chomsky explain the basic business model of newspapers as being the production of an audience for advertising. Their analysis suggests the counter-intuitive notion that publishers’ main product is not the newspaper, which they sell to their readers, but the production of an audience of readers, which they sell to advertisers. In short, the readership is their product. This explains why newspapers will often offer a significant discount for students, as this enables them to catch future affluent consumers early on as they establish their media consumption habits. In its more extreme variants, this can lead to the thesis that even watching television can be understood as a form of labor, as by watching TV you produce the audience, which is the broadcaster’s main product – an idea that was neatly captured in an Adbusters’ video a few years ago.

On this understanding we can certainly position the users of Facebook as laborers. If labor is understood as ‘value producing activity’, then updating your status, liking a website, or ‘friending’ someone, creates Facebook’s basic commodity. It produces marketing data about you, which they can leverage for market research purposes and to better target advertising you might be interested in. It also produces an audience, as your ‘friends’ receive updates, follow your links, or log on to Facebook to join a conversation. This is why Facebook adds ever new functions; Zuckerberg wants us to spend as much time on his platform as possible, as time is literally money.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:49

Occupy Wall Street and the Peer-to-Peer Revolution: a discussion wi...

Source: Action Foresight

This is part II of Occupy Wall Street and the Peer-to-Peer Revolution, a discussion with Michel Bauwens, founder of the The Foundation for P2P Alternatives. How does Occupy Wall Street prefigure wider changes? Bauwens talks about the failings of the current system: artificial scarcity and ecological crisis. Peer production prefigures a way of life which is based on sharing and which is situated in communities, which addresses these failings. Bauwens argues thus that peer production is ‘congruent and convergent with the logic of the commons’. A number of existing alternatives outside of the dominant system needs to interconnect to form a system within a system which can resist capture by capitalist commodification and which can change the system from within.

Bauwens’ argument for the development of a system within a system is consistent with my thesis work on Alternative Futures of Globalization, which argued for emerging structural synergies of counter power in the context of the alter-globalization movement.

(Listen to Part 1 here)

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:47

BBC covers The Global Square: a grassroots social network

By Jerome Roos On February 22, 2012

Post image for BBC covers The Global Square: a grassroots social networkHeather Marsh, spokesperson for The Global Square, appeared on BBC radio to discuss the ongoing effort of building a secure, decentralized social network.

As we reported earlier last week, The Global Square (original project outlinehere, updated information here) has been picking up steam. The effort to build a secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer, open-source organizing platform for our movement — an ambitious experiment in creating a form of direct global democracy from the bottom up — is gathering increasing attention both from the movement, from developers, and from the international media.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:47

Lisbon: two days of actions in solidarity with the people of Greece...

Posted by Niel – O.T.R.O on 02/22/2012 in Report · 0 Comments

Last Saturday 18Feb, people from Lisbon and tourists gathered in Rossio square for the traditional Carnival festivities… but this year something different was waiting for them. Suddenly amidst the crowd Greek flags started appearing, and different chants interrupted the music: “we are all Greeks” “our struggle is international”.
Dozen of activists took the square, to inform the people about the international day of solidarity with Greece and of what is happening to the Greek people. All together we joined hands and formed a huge human chain, asking all the people to join us and encircling most of the square. Here some pics

Today (20Feb) another day of protest, this time with the participation of Greek activists (who couldn’t come on Saturday) who reported about the situation of Greece right now, and the fights during the weekend.
During the gathering, a theater piece was presented by the Teatro do Oprimido (theater of the oppressed), inspired by Greece and depicting how scenes of common life have now become incredibly difficult battles.
How can you have a normal life, when austerity and capitalism prevent you to find a job and take away everything you have?

There was a discussion about the situation in Portugal, how it is becoming very similar to what is happening in Greece, and how we need to stay all together, to create an international movement.Here some pics

they say Portugal is not Greece, but that is a lie. Portugal IS Greece, and we are all Greeks!

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:46

Massivity: over a million protest labor reforms in Spain

From: ROARMAG.org


They said the movement was dead. That the indignation had subsided. That rage and frustration alone was never a sustainable motivation for continued resistance against the scourges of financial capitalism and the farce of our so-called representative democracy. Of course, as we all knew, these assertions were nonsensical to begin with. On Sunday, the rebellious Spaniards once again proved the incompetent experts and ignorant journalists wrong.

With over a million people taking to the streets and squares of more than 50 cities, a powerful message was sent out to the newly-installed government of Mariano Rajoy: your honeymoon is over! As the Conservatives prepare to unleash their neoliberal fury over the crisis-ridden country, pushing for radical labor market reforms and drastic austerity measures, the Spanish once again find themselves at the barricades, gearing up for another spring of discontent.

In many ways, the mass rallies — with over half a million converging in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and another 450.000 in Barcelona’s Plaza de Catalunya alone – were only just the beginning. While this weekend’s protests largely consisted of organized labor unions, the decentralized 15-M movement has called for another wave of actions in the spring — including a global day of action, a pan-European strike, and the re-occupation of Puerta del Sol on May 12.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:46

Anonymous power by Felix Stalder | via Viewpoint

Recent targets of the highly effective “Anonymous” cyberattacks, made in the name of freedom of speech and social justice, include the Belgian website of steel giant ArcelorMittal, hacked in January in protest against the closure of two blast furnaces; the website of the US private intelligence firm Stratfor, from which a large amount of personal data was stolen; the website of the Syrian ministry of defence; and that of the Spanish police after the arrest in Spain of three alleged members of Anonymous.

Who hides behind the Anonymous mask? Elite hackers, ignorant adolescents, dangerous cyberterrorists or simply trolls (1) with a childish sense of humour? All these definitions miss the mark, because Anonymous is multifaceted: it is not a group or network but a collective, or more accurately, several collectives that support each other.

In an extreme way, Anonymous symbolises the protest movements throughout the Arab world, Europe and the US since 2011. The gulf that separates them from the political systems they oppose can be seen in their radically different ways of organising. The political systems have a hierarchical structure, with leaders empowered to speak on behalf of all through the delegation of powers, but their legitimacy has been undermined by corruption and favouritism. The collectives deliberately have no leaders, and reject the principle of representation in favour of individuals directly participating in concrete actions. Their diversity means decisions can be made quickly, by the participants coming together on a specific issue, rather than by getting an official majority. The political establishment cannot understand such forms of organisation or their lack of concrete demands.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:45

Fighting for our lives: why we need a revolution

By Talita Soares On February 22, 2012

Post image for Fighting for our lives: why we need a revolutionWe need a revolution because this system is not a system for the people; because even those who are on the favored side are not able to find true fulfillment.


By Talita Soares

We need a revolution.

Not only because we don’t have enough jobs, not only because the public health system is no longer functional. Not only because our politicians are corrupt or because our teachers are not getting paid.

We need a revolution because every single day, every single hour, maybe, a perharps higly-paid, higly-respected office worker blows his brains out with a pistol gun. We need a revolution because of all the rich spoiled teenagers who are right now looking out of their bedroom windows wondering what the hell is the point of it all.

We need a revolution because this system is not a system where people can live the way they are meant to live; because even those who are on the favored side of it are not able to find true fulfillment — this is not a system created by or for the people, but a system created by the untamed power of money alone.

When money loses its human quality, when it no longer serves the people but rather the other way around, we are no longer living in a human reality, but in a distorted one; one that our souls do not recognise and do not know how to cope with.

We need a revolution in order to bring reality back to a level where love and compassion — forces that are naturally inherent to every human being — can regain their original power. In the times we live in, every time a human being speaks from the heart, he or she is making a political statement.

In an interview about the time he spent at the acampada on Plaza Catalunya in Spain, Eduardo Galeano said that the revolutionary quality of the youth riots in Europe came from the enthusiasm they were able to make emerge. Enthusiasm — there is something that mega-corporations will never have any control over.

To hold this enthusiasm through concrete debating and building of new societal structures is what can ultimately be defined as a revolution. When we protest, may it not be the voice of frustration and anger to make our throats vibrate, but the voice of sharp awareness of the pain of the world and the steps we need to take towards its healing — we need to be lucid in our passion, and passionate in our lucidity.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 9, 2012 at 21:03


Building, developing and managing union networks within multinationals enterprises are not a simple task. However, the experience accumulated since 2001 by the project CUT-FNV “Action on  Multinationals”, well known as CUTMulti, can be a valuable tool in this process. And it was from the need to gather and disseminate all this knowledge that emerged the idea to produce a “Guide to the construction of union networks within multinational companies”


Comment by Orsan Senalp on January 22, 2012 at 22:47

FOSSApps: Free and Open Software Applications that are safe and use...

Free and open source online social networking softwares:

N-1: N-1 is an online social network software. It has been developed by Indignados from Spain and elsewhere collectively. N-1 combines many of the below tools in it. The name n-1 is related to the principle of equipotentiality that attribute potentially equal participation for all the nodes involve.

Other important free and open source online networks are DiasporaRise UpDrupal.

Big Blue Button is an open source online software  built originally for higher and long distance education purpose. Yet it is a very usefull tool for unionists and …..

Mumble is a free telecommunication software that is used by Occupy movement, Spanish Indignados/15M activists. You can create voice-chat rooms for your scheduled work groups, meetings and conference calls.

Webchat Free Node is a secure instant chat rooms for activists who are sharing and working on collective projects and actions. Create your chat rooms and invite your comrades.

Online collective document creation:

Titan Pad / RiseUp Pad / Priate Pad

Turtle is a free and open source anonymous peer-to-peer network project facilitating free speech and sharing information by combining encryption with peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Like no other anonymous P2P software, it allows users to share files and otherwise communicate without fear of legal sanctions or censorship.

WordPress is an open source website, blog creation software.

Other usefull FOSS tools: Continue reading 


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