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 Miquel Loriz Toro on May 2, 2012 at 8:21

Does anyone know an experience of Union Congress 2.0? How do they open participation to all members through social networks? We in CCOO Spain have our Congress in February 2013 but the discussion will be opne after the summer. So it could be interesting to nnow any previous experiences.

Comment by Orsan Senalp on April 4, 2012 at 9:49

Invitation to warm-up meeting for #GlobalSquare project at Berlin B...

TheGlobalSquare (TGS) is a project that aims at building an international platform for communication, collaboration, coordination and making-decisions at a global level. It is based on decentralized networking and social swarm, respecting privacy and transparency. Our aim is to develop a protocol and data exchange vocabulary in order to connect every free social network initiative and project, gathering all of them into a common chain so they will be able to communicate easily and freely among each other. We are not seeking for uniformity but for federation, decentralization and collaboration.

This year the curators from Berlin Biennale have invited the occupy movement to have a self-organized space inside the KW, where people can live for 2 months next May and June. This will give TGS the space to do actions, talks, workshops, hacking, reading, watching films, all focussing on democracy, social swarming, free licenses and how we are going to change the world. We want to offer workshops for tech newbies on encryption, help install free software, discuss social networks, develop common strategies against censorhip laws like ACTA, SOPA, etc., and think beyond what we can imagine.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on March 17, 2012 at 13:19

Weekly Marches on Wall Street Start Today! 2PM LIBERTY SQUARE

Posted 1 day ago on March 16, 2012, 7:12 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

may day

Start training for May Day and join the spring resistance! Weekly marches every Friday; meet at 2 PM in Liberty Square!

via the NYCGA:

On Friday, March 16, 2012, at 2PM, Occupy Wall Street will converge in the streets once again and launch the first in a series of spring training marches from Liberty Square to Wall Street inpreparation for May Day, a day of massive economic non-compliance a.... These marches will occur weekly and will allow occupiers to practice various street tactics and theatrics. For the first march, participants are encouraged to wear athletic gear, don their game face, and prepare to make the 1% feel the burn!

Organizers say besides growing comfortable employing various tactics with each other in actions, the intention of these marches are to strengthen the community to make upcoming campaigns and efforts, like reoccupation, as successful as possible.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on March 16, 2012 at 23:35

We are all Portuguese! For a European general strike!



The measures proposed by the Troïka (EU, ECB, IMF) in Greece, in Ireland and in Portugal have plunged these countries into chaos and poverty. Across Europe we must sink or swim together. From Portugal to Greece democracy has lost its meaning; the civil services and governments of these countries are at the service of the bankers.

Portugal is the last of these countries to be put under the supervision of the Troïka, a year after Greece and six months after Ireland. The minimum wage is 485€ before tax, the lowest in Europe; unemployment affects 15% of the population and 35% of the young people; 23.2% of paid workers (54.6% of 15-24 year olds) are linked to their employers by a fixed-term or temporary contract. Prices, on the other hand, are all rising fast. Petrol, for example, is more expensive than in France. At the moment 25% of the Portuguese people live below the poverty threshold.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on March 16, 2012 at 23:35


Spain to go on General Strike

March 29

From Libcom:

March 10 – The CNT, Spain’s anarchist labor union, issued a statement yesterday announcing that they will be convoking a nation-wide general strike for March 29 against the labor reform passed on Thursday by the Parliament.

This coincides with strikes that have already been called for Galicia and the Basque Country. In these regions the call was made jointly between “minority” unions such as the CNT and CGT as well as regionally-important unions linked to nationalist movements. On the national scale, however, the CNT has called the strike on its own.

According to Spain’s labor law, strikes are only official if called, or convoked, by a union or another official body. In the message announcing the strike call, the CNT said that they hope to give coverage to any workers’ organizations that want to take action.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on March 12, 2012 at 19:52

The new class structure of neoliberal capitalism | Excerpted from G...

Excerpted from Guy Standing‘s book on the Precariat: The New Dangerous Class

“The globalisation era generated a class fragmentation that threatens democratic governance. At the top, in terms of income, above older representatives of capital, an elite of absurdly affluent figures emerged as global citizens, detached from any nation state but able to influence governments wherever they wished. Stretching from multi-billionaires in Silicon Valley to oligarchs in Russia, encompassing hedge-fund managers and property tycoons, the elite has dominated political discourse. No prospective prime minister or president has risked offending them. Occasionally, one of them falls foul of the law. Most ignore it with impunity. But curbing their collective political and economic power is vital for any meaningful democracy.

In terms of income, the group below the elite and other representatives of capital is the ‘salariat’, those with above average incomes, with an array of enterprise benefits and employment security. This group is shrinking, hit by the financial crisis, austerity packages and the extension of labour market flexibility, nowhere more so than in Greece.

Some of the salariat have joined the third group, ‘proficians’, those with bundles of technical and emotional skills that allow them to be self-selling entrepreneurs, living opportunistically on their wits and contacts. This group is growing but is relatively small; it tends to be socially liberal but economically conservative, since it wants low taxes and few obstacles to money making.

Below the salariat and proficians in terms of income is the old manual working class, the proletariat, which has been dissolving for decades. The democracy built in the twentieth century was designed to suit this class, as was the welfare state. Trades unions forged a labourist agenda and social democratic parties implemented it. That agenda has little legitimacy in the twenty-first century.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on March 12, 2012 at 19:52

6 Ways to Get Ready for the May 1st GENERAL STRIKE | #OccupyWallStreet

Posted 1 day ago on March 11, 2012, 7:57 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt


Yesterday, 60,000 marched on Madison to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker’s attacks on labor rights sparked massive protests that saw hundreds of thousands occupy the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters alike.This is just one example that people across the globe are actively resisting attacks on the 99%. This year has already seen the largest-ever strike on record in India, hundreds of thousands marching for democracy in Bahrain, general strikes in Montreal and Spain where students once again occupied public space in protest of the austerity measures and spending cuts being enforced by the European banking elite, massive uprisings in the streets of Moscow, and more. Even in the United States, the movement grows. The corporate media claims that Occupy’s strength is waning, but they are merely in denial. During the coldest months of this year, the United States has already seen more revolutionary momentum than it has in decades.This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike. We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking – and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS! Continue reading 
Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:51

Occupy + Commons: The Beginnings of a Beautiful Relationship | Davi...

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Occupy movement is beginning to discover the commons, and the result could be a rich and productive collaboration.  This was the lesson that I took from a three-day conference, “Making Worlds:  A Forum on the Commons,” hosted by Occupy Wall Street in Brooklyn this past weekend. Rarely have I seen so many ordinary people from diverse backgrounds embrace the commons idea with such ease and enthusiasm.

There was a certain cosmic appropriateness that this gathering was held in a church meeting hall, the Church of the Ascension in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  This is the kind of humble, out of the way setting that gave rise to the civil rights movement 50-60 years ago.  Church basements virtually require us to shed our pretensions and credentials, and to get real with each other.  As they say in the Occupy world, this was a “truth event” – an occasion meant to rip a hole in the fabric of mainstream culture and provoke some deep and honest reflection on the truth.

Can the commons paradigm take us to higher ground?  For the 100-plus people who showed up, the forum was an occasion to consider how the commons can open up new vistas in “alternative economies, open source, education, environment, technology, labor, politics, race, gender, sexuality and more.”  In typical Occupy style, the meetings were run in a fairly loose fashion; it was not always clear who was “running” the meeting because many people intervened at various times.

And yet things never got out of hand, and I cannot recall a meeting of this size that was richer, more provocative and constructive.  People really listened to each other.  People actively invited everyone to speak out, especially those who were more reticent.  Your professional credentials were a secondary matter.  And if someone got too agitated, people would use calming hand gestures to cool things down. The dialogue was an intelligent, passionate, highly sophisticated and practical dialogue of ordinary American citizens.  Refreshing!  Now if only such traits could somehow be engineered into our mainstream political culture and media!

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on February 24, 2012 at 21:51

Occupy Heads into the Spring | Rebecca Solnit’s ZSpace Page

By Rebecca Solnit

When you fall in love, it’s all about what you have in common, and you can hardly imagine that there are differences, let alone that you will quarrel over them, or weep about them, or be torn apart by them — or if all goes well, struggle, learn, and bond more strongly because of, rather than despite, them. The Occupy movement had its glorious honeymoon when old and young, liberal and radical, comfortable and desperate, homeless and tenured all found that what they had in common was so compelling the differences hardly seemed to matter.

Until they did.

Revolutions are always like this: at first all men are brothers and anything is possible, and then, if you’re lucky, the romance of that heady moment ripens into a relationship, instead of a breakup, an abusive marriage, or a murder-suicide. Occupy had its golden age, when those who never before imagined living side-by-side with homeless people found themselves in adjoining tents in public squares.

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

Tweetin’ ’bout a revolution: Red Pepper interviews with Paul Mason

Newsnight’s Paul Mason, author of a new book on the revolts sweeping the world, speaks to Red Pepper

Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper) You highlight the commonalities of the different revolts of 2011, but how do we understand the differences between revolts against authoritarian regimes and exhausted democracies? Is there a problem with this generality?

Paul Mason I’m looking for what’s common rather than making generalities. First of all, one revolt feeds off another, and you can’t underestimate the physical link: again and again, among people who were involved in March 26 in the UK, J14 in Israel, Wisconsin, you meet people who had been to Tahrir.

Spain isn’t Greece, and Tahrir and Tunis are very different. But there is the archetype of the educated youth whose life chances have been blighted by a combination of economic downturn and a regime they realise is unsustainable.

You can’t underestimate the extent to which those dictatorships had linked themselves to the economic programme of neoliberalism. Many say that the key moment in the Arab Spring was the loss of fear, and in the west it has been the loss of apathy, but the sources have been the same thing: people suddenly realising ‘change is necessary, change is possible’. The more I think about it, the more I trace it back to the collapse of the economic model – it just took a while.
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