Sunday, November 19, 2006

Why Union?

Excerpt from Design Action Collective's personnel manual:

We are often be asked why Design Action is a union shop if it is worker-owned. Here are a few reasons:

1. Unions set standards: As working people in our trade, we benefit from the collective bargaining efforts of our union and the standards they set for the industry. Our union contract ensures that we are accountable to these standards even in our more petit bourgeois moments.

2. Unions offer benefits: As members of CWA, we can take advantage of union retirement plans, joint benefits packages, dispute arbitration services, and fill-in job opportunities at other CWA shops, amongst other things.

3. Union standards are important to our customers: Just like many people request Fair Trade certified coffee and sweat-free t-shirts, many of our clients request union labor. Granted, unionized design studios are so rare that few even bother to ask. But we’re out to change that.

4. Unions are essential to cooperatives: Even worker coops find themselves facing labor disputes—especially as they grow larger and implement representative forms of management. Examples of worker-coop sectors from around the world show that unions can play an important role in preserving power in the hands of workers—even those who ostensibly share ownership.

5. We want to have a voice in the labor movement: Unions are an essential force in any movement to challenge corporate capitalism. Trying to out-compete those with capital at their own game using worker-owned companies will unlikely be enough. Yet organized labor as a democratic movement is only as progressive as it’s membership. As working people, we earn our voice in this movement through our participation in the struggles of others.


Post a Comment

<< Home