Union App Planning/Introduction Meeting

The Techno-syndicalism team is running a planning/introduction meeting by video-conference at 10pm on Wednesday. Here’s the link if you or someone you know wants to join us: https://zoom.us/j/200219926

We’ll be sketching out our timeline for the next few weeks, deciding what features to work on, and answering questions from interested parties. It’d be amazing if you could join us

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Heyo! Good to see you’re organising something. I’ve been hearing some ideas about ‘join a union at the click of a button’ and thought it sounded cool. And here you all are doing something about it! Very good.

Now that I’ve read https://bananananaba.com/Techno-Syndicalism-Outline.html and thought about it a bit, I must ask. What is the difference between creating a WhatsApp/Signal/Matrix/Whatever group beyond the idea of a ‘structured interface’? My thinking: I don’t think we have an issue in organising with lack of communications technologies. In fact, we’re swamped in those. We’ve never been in a better position to communicate with each other with all the options.

I do think worker organisations can get better at technology and that can be a good thing. Better forums, better chat rooms, data we can control, easy ways to make donations, etc. So I am interested in the topic in general, however, my magical thinking alarm bells fire each time I hear about a technology being proposed as a solution to social problem.

Dunno if you wanted this thread to devolve into a constructive criticism cake throwing contest but I am interested to see where you all are going with it!


You’re right, there are a lot of communication and subscription options. WhatsApp is the current tool of choice for organisers, but there are a few issues, mainly because it’s developed for a very large variety of uses, so it can’t be specialised.

The main thing we’re interested in doing is building something that is marginally more useful than WhatsApp, (which can mostly be done by adding anonymity options) and then iterating from there. You’re right that there are lots of software options, but there isn’t any union-specific software that is actively going through the dev->users->dev feedback loop. The features I’m excited about are the ones we haven’t decided to add yet, e.g. integrated scripts for talking to fellow workers, public mapping for flying pickets, temporary action groups that expire after a certain time period or goal is achieved, invitation trees where you can see who invited who to check how your group might have been infiltrated etc.

Now, you’re right, obviously an app is not going to provide a solution to every problem that unions have, but they can take out the drudgery of an organiser thinking “which communication software should I use? which funding option should I pick?”. And then they can use the energy that they would have used to make those pointless choices, into the stuff they actually want to do, like making personal connections to people in the workplace, putting on fundraisers, training other organisers etc.

I’m happy for people to continue adding constructive criticism, I’ve been adding people’s ideas and problems to the project for the past year, and it’s made it what it is.