The amount of clout a programmers union would wield is just fucking incredible. Stop fucking around like just because you get a lopsided paycheque the rest of us won't ever see things are somehow ok. They aren't.

Organize a union.
Help fix this mess.

@Mainebot honestly programmers don’t get paid enough and don’t get any benefits and it’s a horrible mess...but organising a union would just get us fired, it needs to be a really large industry-wide thing to get traction

@Mainebot @foxwitch The amount of push back I've gotten from peers on this point to the tune of "I don't see that I'd benefit from a union," is… high. But I keep thinking about if that union also included non-programmer tech workers. The benefits could be amazing for those folks.

@benhamill @Mainebot there’s a lot a Union could do to help higbpaid tech workers. If nothing else they could help get rid of the bullshit that is 60-80 hour work weeks especially without overtime pay. That should never be necessary and companies that do it either need to hire more people to help with the load or set a more realistic development timeline.

@benhamill @Mainebot Another advantage to union backing is if your employer tries to make you build something unethical. Although many programmers don’t learn enough about the ethical implications of what they might be asked to build yet either.

@foxwitch @Mainebot Yeah. I don't think most of my peer group has an problem with hours. I dinner know that I've ever put in 80 hours in a week or even 60 including dealing with shit off-hours while on call.

But I agree a software union could get mess things I want. I just don't know how to convince others. I've talked with folks before about a union putting pressure that security and privacy be first class concerns. We could lobby for different arrangements between functions within/across teams… a lot.

@foxwitch @Mainebot Let alone things like, "Don't move into a town and add huge amounts of gentrification pressure to it," and such that wouldn't maybe positively impact the lives of tech workers, but would keep our lives from negatively impacting others'.

@foxwitch @benhamill @Mainebot i've found a lot of leverage talking about how collective action can assert ethical standards.

"don't you hate making cool stuff and then finding out it kills people?"
"don't you hate making things that push people to the brink of subsistence?"
"it doesn't have to be this way"

everyone is complicit these days in surveillance capitalism and i rarely encounter folks who don't hate it 🤷‍♀️ (even if they don't take issue with capitalism itself)

@foxwitch @benhamill @Mainebot like i've met a lot of devs for whom "union" means "dues and meetings" because that's the mythology they've been taught. but they understand (generally) that things are BAD in too many ways to mention. it's a small leap to get them from "things are bad" to "if we work together, they could be better"

@garbados @foxwitch @benhamill

The total ignorance surrounding the power of collective bargaining to set responsible standards is astounding to me.

Unions as a dirty word meaning 'bureaucracy and cost and corruption' works hand-in-hand with management and development environments that reduce a worker to measurable productivity.

So much so that there comes a point that even when every dev leaves in protest, scabs can pick up where a dev left off with almost no downtime.

@Mainebot @foxwitch @benhamill

> So much so that there comes a point that even when every dev leaves in protest, scabs can pick up where a dev left off with almost no downtime.

i haven't found software to have a meaningful notion of piece work, so scabbing like this tends to go poorly since you have to replace everything built by those who left. it's why we talk about bus factors. companies that structurally entrench low bus factors are especially vulnerable to collective action.

@Mainebot they probably have to suffer full proletariatization for many to join unions I bet, but by then it's about survival and not clout.

@p A union is made up of its constituent members, votes on actions, and serves the interests of those that make it. It's not some random third-party, it's your way to collectively bargain.

If you think your ability to bargain is strengthened alone, you're misinformed.

If you think anything other than a union can effect changes to improve life for workers in tech, especially the ones that are getting shafted, you're misinformed.

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