Sunday, 16 September 2007


For your information:

Il primo sciopero virtuale al mondo e' stato sospeso in attesa della prossima riunione del Coordinamento Nazionale RSU IBM Italia
che avverra' il 24 settembre.
In tale data verranno decise tutte le iniziative
di supporto alla vertenza aziendale.

Tutte le ulteriori informazioni nella sezione

IMPORTANTE: per ricevere successive informazioni,
registratevi subito al sito
IMPORTANT: to receive further information, join the mailing list on the above website.

for contacts/info/join from outside Italy please write with urgence to

Dear Colleagues,

IBM workers will go on strike in SecondLife this month.

The plan is to get IBM strikers and union friends (you are all asked to
come!) to install SecondLife on their computers and get accustomed to using
their avatar before September 12th.

As of September 12th, all future strikers will be offered a "Strike Kit"
and instructions at UNI's house on the Commonwealth Island in SecondLife ( - - This link
only works if you've already installed SL).

For SL beginners, we will be offering:
1. Instructions to get started in SL on our website:
2. Training courses to use the Strike Kit, that will take place from
September 12th to September 16th at 9pm Rome, Italy time, at UNI's house in
SL (
Extra courses will be organised all day on the 12th, every hour from 9am to
9pm Rome, Italy time (

Thanks ahead of time for showing your solidarity and participating in this
first world virtual strike!
We'd appreciate if you pass the word on to your members, colleagues and

Finally, please also note UNI holds short meetings every Thursday in
SecondLife in its house on the Commonwealth Island at 10am and 4pm Rome,
Italy time, which all are welcome to attend.

Best regards,

UNI web in SL: "uniglobalunion oh"
UNI global union
8-10 ave Reverdil
1260 Nyon
Tel: +41 22 365 21 30
Fax: +41 22 365 21 21

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Ms Qunhua said...

Two comments;

I'm wearing the "IBM is deaf to its employees" T-shirt, but it seems insensitive to members of the deaf community, some of whom are quite receptive to the needs of others.

Secondly, both IBM and Linden Labs are tech companies. Whose to say that Linden Labs won't collude with IBM to quash the strike?

Anonymous said...

Hi ms qunhua,

Thanks for your comments. I'm helping organise the Strike, but posting here in a personal capacity.

I joined in after the T-shirts were being distributed, and to help get the word out about our Strike, I've been wearing it along with carrying our 'Join the Strike + Ask Me How Placard' (available in the crate-like 'Join The First Ever Virtual Strike ISL Box' at the UNI global union house. I do take your point about the possible insensitivity to members of the deaf community -- and I'd like to hear the opinions of hearing impaired folks on this issue.

I think there's always a potential for well intended confusion in questions of perceived oppression, where folks 'outside' of the oppressed group act in oversensitive ways on behalf of the oppressed minority, regardless of the fact that no member of that minority has raised the issue at hand as a problem. And I'm not saying that is necessarily the case here either. I have bipolar disorder, and neither myself nor the folks I know in the 'bipolar community' -- and especially not those involved in the Mad Pride movement -- would feel a retailer called Manic Organic having a 'Summer Madness Sale' or a 'Beet the Winter Blues' promotion were being insensitive to people with mental health issues. By all means support us in winning service user input to the local mental health service provision policy-making process, but there's really no need to hassle the Manic Organic workers co-op on our behalf for being "insensitive to members of the [mad] community". We know they intend no insensitivity, and trying to make such a metaphorical use of language into an issue on our behalf trivialises our real struggles to challenge authentic 'able-minded' prejudice and stigma, and to win real material improvements in employment, housing and health service provision.

As far as I know, we have as yet no advanced intelligence on Linden Labs position regarding the Strike. I await with interest to see if they collude with the pay-cutting IBM bosses in hampering our protest, or support our Italian sisters and brothers and their comrades the world over (either covertly, or overtly), or choose neutrality in the class war and sit on the fence. I'm contacting 45 sympathetic Second Life Groups with around 3,400 members between them (and they are only the English language comrades), and there has been a swarm of advanced publicity in the media about our Strike (see our IBM Union Strike home page, including links to Italian, Spanish, French, and English media reports). So post-Strike reports of a Linden/IBM collusion would no doubt be widespread, and -- if those 3,400 Second Lifers with their Italian, Spanish and French speaking comrades have anything to do with it -- very hostile to the Lindens collaboration with our class enemies.

Hope you and other Second Lifers reading this blog will be in some of the Great Group Photos and Movies that myself and others are planning to shoot on Strike day -- look out for the 'Giant Camera/Camcorder on a Tripod' avatars, and related "GROUP PHOTO" shouting in 'Near Me' chat!

In Solidarity,

Dalinian Bing (Ms.)

Anonymous said...

Breakthrough at IBM Italy

One month after a virtual protest staged in Second Life with almost 2’000 avatars demonstrating on IBM islands, a new contract with IBM Italy has been signed.

The new agreement, which still needs to be approved by the IBM Italy workforce, reinstates the performance bonus that was cut unilaterally by IBM Italy management.

The agreement signed by IBM Italy and the trade union Rappresentanze Sindacali Unitarie (R.S.U.) not only includes the performance bonuses from 2007 up until 2010 but also payments by IBM into a national health insurance fund and also states that negotiations will continue with respect to IBM industrial and business strategies in Italy and the improvement of internal communication policies.

The situation abruptly improved and negotiation resumed after the former country manager left IBM in the mid of October, who had signed responsible for the pay cuts in the first place. His departure cleared the air and facilitated constructive negotiations between social partners as this could be expected from a professional management of a high-tech company.

The virtual demonstration organized on 27 September for a whole day has certainly had an impact on the positive development. Almost 2’000 virtual protestors from 30 countries populating IBM premises in Second Life solicited an unprecedented media echo from all over the world, including TV and radio stations, daily news papers, computer and business magazines. The virtual protest had been supported by global unions such as the International and European Metalworkers Federations (IMF and EMF) and UNI Global Union.

The threat of strike action in the “real world” by the Italian unions after the virtual protest has certainly also helped to break the deadlock. Yet, the impact of this historical action in Second Life must not be underestimated.