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 November 12, 2012 at 11:46

The Dramatic Rise of Peer-to-Peer Communication within the emancipa...

Draft paper by Örsan Şenalp


In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations some of which took place in 2011 and 2012 and others are currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists in these spaces and mobilisations. Such developments might allow radical reformist and revolutionary forces to invent an upgraded methodology for working together which might in return make it possible to form transnationally connected and strong alliances between horizontal and less vertical forms of agency, so called movement of movements.

Continue reading 

Comment by Adam O'Maolagáin on November 6, 2012 at 11:30

This is an article that Irish Tapestry workers have put together commemorating the 1913 lockout.http://ning.it/RPCoHN"

Comment by Orsan Senalp on September 13, 2012 at 14:52

New Unionism Network discusses `How to build real global unions?`

So what do YOU think???
Network members have been bouncing around a couple of tricky questions for the last few years. We think it’s time to start generating (and sharing) some answers.

1) How do we start building real global unions?

2) How have unions been evolving around the world and what can we all learn from this?

We want to hear about your experience and to find out what you think! Or, if you’re undecided, we want your votes on some related questions. We’ll be launching both discussions soon… please emailcommunications@newunionism.net if you’d like to stay in the loop. 


Comment by Orsan Senalp on September 13, 2012 at 13:42

Over 300 workers burned and suffocated to death – and a call for ju...

Demand justice now - click here.
The horror of it all is almost unimaginable.
Over 300 workers burned and suffocated to death in their workplaces, a garment factory and a shoe factory.
Some died while trying to jump out of windows to safety.
There were no emergency exits, no escape routes.
Not in Victorian England in the 19th century.  Not in New York City a century ago.
But this week, in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
They died in Karachi and in Lahore, making the garments and shoes that you may be wearing right now.
We honour the memory of those lives cut short by demanding justice –
  • an impartial inquiry into what happened – and punishing those at fault;
  • compensation for the families of those killed and injured;
  • and an investigation into the failures of those public authorities who should have been there to ensure the workers’ safety.
The unions in Pakistan are asking us all to take a minute and send off our messages of protest to the Prime Minister.
Comment by Orsan Senalp on September 7, 2012 at 12:33

Interviewed: David Harvey on Rebel Cities | Shareable

Check out David Harvey’s enlightening new book, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution.

Introduction by Neal Gorenflo, Publisher of Shareable

One of the legacies of socialist “Red Vienna” in the 1920s is a huge stock of quality housing owned by the city available at below-market rates. This not only makes affordable housing widely available, it keeps a lid on overall housing prices. This undoubtedly adds to the appeal of prosperous Vienna, voted as the world’s most livable city in 2011.

Even though this historical anecdote is relevant today, considering the damage done by a speculative housing market run amok, we never hear about it. Mainstream discourse about cities is dominated by free-market, pro-growth ideas that has continued unabated even after the flaws of capitalism were made glaringly obvious by the 2008 financial meltdown. The Floridas andGlaesers of the world carry on with their growth-talk as if the crisis never happened (and global warming doesn’t exist). If you believe the future will be made in cities, then this trading in failed ideas doesn’t bode well for the future.

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on September 7, 2012 at 12:33

An Indestructible Union (Part 10) | Godfrey’s Blog of Claims


As we build up the membership continuum, this post will move to the first type of membership for those who are in paid work – minority membership.

Now is the time where I fess up. A lot of what I’ve written on Direct unionism comes from a 2002 article by Joel Rogers and Richard B. Freeman published in The Nation entitled  ”A Proposal to American Labor“. The article is fascinating on two fronts: (1) it (re)introduces the concept of minority union membership, and (2) predicts how the internet will change the very means of organising Unions.

In essence, Rogers and Freeman foreshadow how the internet as a communications technology can be used for organising workers who are not only without the protection of a Union Agreement but have no realistic hope of obtaining one in the near future:

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on September 7, 2012 at 12:33

How Do You Build a Union for the 21st Century? (Step 1: Learn From ...

by SARA HOROWITZ – the founder of Freelancers Union, a nonprofit organization representing the interests and concerns of the independent workforce.

The next generation of organized labor should be about something more than recovering middle-class wages. It should be about recovering a middle-class way of life.

615 union 21 century.jpg


When I was growing up, my parents would drive me and my sister from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side to visit our grandma. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment built in the late 1940s by her garment workers union so that their members could lead relatively comfortable lives.

My grandmother’s affordable apartment in the Amalgamated Housing complex was the brainchild of labor leader Sidney Hillman. As the head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America before and during the New Deal era, Hillman envisioned a drastically different labor movement than the one we see today.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on July 29, 2012 at 17:54

Occupy/Take the Square International Network Global Agenda Mumble C...

Road to Dignity ► Global SPRING 2012 | #Road to Dignity | Scoop.it

Dear Comrades,

While many have declared our movement is dead or marginalized, we can assure that Occupy/Indignados/Arab Spring is preparing a fresh new wave of gatherings, actions and campaigns.

This is a call for a meeting to communicate and discuss a common agenda, while looking for ways to interconnect our diversity of struggles, movements and moments. We are on the way of building an International Road to Dignity, and we invite everyone to join.

An early example of how our renewed Road to Dignity could look is here: http://roadtodignity.blogspot.com

Continue reading 

Comment by Orsan Senalp on July 29, 2012 at 17:54

Florence 10+10: A democratic rupture for Europe | Citizens, movemen...


Ten years ago, Florence hosted the first ever European Social Forum. It constituted an extraordinary moment in the construction of a continent-wide demos, which presented analyses, proposals and solutions which would have avoided Europe crashing into the terrible economic, social and democratic crisis in which it is now mired.

Europe is today pervaded by a need to build, albeit in new forms, a European public space, and by the need to look to the next 10 years with common objectives, agendas and strategies. The crisis and the austerity policies can be beaten, but we are aware that to achieve this we have to get away from fragmentation and the closure of each in their own narrow national dimensions.

The European forum Florence 10+10 will bring  together over four days citizens, social movements, trade unions, network and social forces from throughout Europe recognising themselves in the demand for radical European democracy and the necessity of re-building a popular and democratic front of European citizens.

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Comment by Orsan Senalp on July 22, 2012 at 19:45

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