Today, Italian IBM workers launch a protest in the virtual Second Life [originally posted 27 Sept]. Union members and supporters will organise a virtual picket at IBM’s ‘virtual islands’ it uses to promote the company and build new links with customers.
“This is the first ever union action in the virtual world,” said the General Secretary of UNI global union Philip Jennings. “Wherever companies go we shall pursue them if they behave badly. It opens new avenues for industrial pressure in the future and brings greater involvement in trade union activities for younger, computer-savvy members”.
The virtual campaign has brought the Italian workers international support. TUC Head of International Relations, Owen Tudor, commented: "Unions reinvent themselves every time bad bosses change the way they do business. IBM's virtual customers will be meeting cyber-unionists for the first time this week and firms who do the dirty on their staff can expect more and more innovative protests”.