Monday, October 01, 2007

Please define ‘massive’

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has issued a media release lauding a “massive” strike in cyberspace.

1,850 people yesterday joined a “strike” in the internet virtual world Second Life against IBM. The action, organised by Global Union Federation UNI, was undertaken in support of IBM workers in Italy who having requested a modest salary increase, had their “productive results benefit” cancelled by the company resulting in a loss of some Euros 10,000 income each.

Hmm, 1,850 virtual strikers out of an online membership of around 9 million cyberfolk? I’m doubtful that 0.02% of an online population could exactly be described as “massive”.

Then again, with dwindling union memberships in the developed world, perhaps it is a fair description in a roundabout kind of relative way. One might also consider the level of real-world “social awareness” that the average virtual citizen might possess, given they have their heads in a computer screen for much of their leisure hours.

Still, the virtual action does seem to have had some effect:

While IBM has yet to react to the protest, during the event the company did shut down parts of their “business centre” to visitors, and when some of the virtual strikers managed to get into an IBM staff meeting, they were immediately asked to leave. Instead of agreeing to allow the protesters to speak to them, the company ended the staff meeting.

Arise ye wretched of the earth! Give ’em hell, comrades!


Blogger Caz said...

They ended a pretend staff meeting?

How radical.

3/10/07 9:30 PM  

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