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, 2015

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 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!

Continue reading 

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.

Continue reading 

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.
Continue reading 

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.

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