CODE-CWA Newsletter: October 30

“Believe in the power of people.”

That’s Blue State Digital’s mission statement, and it’s the moniker adopted by the workers at the agency who recently announced they’re forming a union. Workers are coming together from across Blue State’s departments, disciplines, and offices to collectively improve their working conditions.

We’d like to warmly welcome these workers to the CWA family! Blue State Digital is a progressive digital agency who work with some of the leading progressive non-profits in the country and they’re now starting to bargain with management.

This is a particularly important development in the middle of election season when the non-profits that Blue State workers are supporting are focused on getting out the vote efforts, the workers at Blue State recognize that real progressive change won’t come about solely at the ballot box. Systemic change requires a real movement of organized workers. Working at a political campaigning firm, Blue State workers are well aware of the importance of the vote, but also of the need for a strong working class labor movement to get real results.

Vote next week. Research your down ballot options. Don’t get misled by the soundbites and the candidate who has spent the most on ads. Look at their major donors and vote for people who best represent the most marginalized working people in your neighborhood.

Next week could get rocky, good luck out there, and stay safe.

Events

We’ve been offering free, online training courses from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT on Saturdays and our next training is on November 7.

We'll walk you through the 101 of how to start talking to your coworkers and organize your first campaign. Enroll online today!

Worker News

The race for Prop 22 is close but gig workers need your help. As Uber, Lyft, Doordash, & Instacart spend $200 million to rob workers of their rights, the workers who are fighting this initiative are not only outspent, but also unable to reach the same number of voters as the companies, who’ve been using their apps to spread misleading information to riders and drivers. The workers need your help. If you have the time, volunteer to text bank to help workers in California secure a no vote on Proposition 22.

Some bros running a facial recognition startup have been harassing women staffers. Cue surprise: Men at $1.6 billion surveillance startup, Verkada, abused the company's facial recognition tech to post sexually graphic content of their women colleagues. Their punishment was a stock reduction. Vice got the scoop.

Facebook content moderators sound the alarm: When Viana Ferguson, a Black woman working as a content moderator for a subcontracted Facebook company, saw a photo of a white family with a Black child and the caption read “Every good family has a pet,” she knew it was racist, but her white manager disagreed with her and the post stayed up. Facebook’s content policies are written by full time employees at Facebook who’ve never worked in content moderation queues, and that’s leading to dangerous outcomes for both content moderators and the public. The Guardian.

Amazon workers threaten to shut down warehouses if employees don’t get a day off to vote. Current and former Amazon office workers are organizing alongside warehouse workers to demand workers get a day off to vote. Amazon hasn’t yet budged on the issue. If there’s an Amazon warehouse near to where you live, hang out outside next time you’ve a free afternoon and speak to workers to see if they’d like to get organized. Amazon is one of the most dangerous entities for workers out there today. Not only are they creating incredibly difficult working conditions for their workers, other companies are also copying their approach to “increase efficiency.” We all must do more to help Amazon workers build worker power. To keep updated on this shutdown threat, follow Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, who are organizing this effort.

Google gets into bed with Anduril to help CBP carry out xenophobic immigration policy. After Google workers organized to stop the company from building AI tech to be used in military drones, the company wrote its “AI Principles,” which include a number of things they say the company won’t work on, including: “Technologies that cause or are likely to cause overall harm.” & “Weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.” The whole purpose of CBP’s mission on the southern border is to implement a racist and xenophobic agenda by hunting down and imprisoning immigrants who come here to seek a safe haven. This will not be the last you’ll hear about this story. Follow @EthicalGooglers

on Twitter for updates.

This Week in Labor History

Listen to the Kickstarter podcast if you haven’t had a chance to yet. Workers at Kickstarter became the first Silicon Valley tech company union in U.S. history. This new podcast, created by the workers behind the union drive, takes you behind the scenes of how tech workers came together and won despite aggressive attempts to prevent it from happening.

Available here.

Song of the Week

Take ‘Em Down - Dropkick Murphys

When the boss comes callin' they'll put us down

When the boss comes callin' gotta stand your ground

When the boss comes callin' don't believe their lies

When the boss comes callin' his take his toll

When the boss comes callin' don't you sell your soul

When the boss comes callin' we gotta organize

Let em know

We gotta take the bastards down

Let them know

We gotta smash them to the ground

Let em know

We gotta take the bastards down

When the boss comes callin' you'll be on your own

When the boss comes callin' will you stand alone?

When the boss comes callin' will you let them in?

When the boss comes callin' will you stand and fight?

When the boss comes callin' we must unite

When the boss comes callin' we can't let them win