Thursday, May 29, 2008

Unions and Web 2.0

are u interested ?
JOIN the "unions 2.0" group in Facebook... we are waiting for you !!!

CONTEST! for IBM virtual strike museum **win 25000L$**

Ancora pochi giorni per partecipare al contest per creare un monumento dedicato alla storica protesta virtuale IBM di settembre 2007. Il vincitore vedra' il suo monumento inserito nel museo su Union Island dedicato alla protesta IBM e in piu' ricevera' ben 25.000 L$ !
Spargete la voce fra colleghi ed amici....

In late September 2007, around 1,850 avatars converged on IBM campus sims to mount a 12 hour protest. IBM Italy had cut a performce bonus worth 1000 Euro to staff, and refused to negotiate on it.

The Second Life protest was reported all over SL and the web, and coupled with the threat of real world strikes to follow, IBM Italy agreed to go to negotation with the union, and gave the workers back their pay.

This was only one more union campaign of the type that are going on every day around the globe, but the significance of Second Life in the dispute was something totally new.

Labor historically has been fond of monuments to our great victories (and some of the defeats), so we thought it would be fun to have a moderm monument to a modern event. Can you help make something which will tell people the story?

This is an open contest to anyone in SL to come up with a monument design to be located on Union Island. The contest is open until 31 May 2008.

The prize is 25,000 Linden Dollars. So get designing!

There is more background information on the protest at :

Send your entries to avatar: Unionisland Republic

Or IM Unionisland Republic for further information.

Terms: Please make sure you own or are permitted the rights to any elements of your design. Closing date is 31 May 2008. Prize is non-transferable. Judges' decision will be final.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Press articles

Midi Libre, La Montagne, Les Echos, Yahoo Finance, Challanges Business, Boursorama (France)
Il Manifesto, Il Giorno, La Repubblica (Italy)

More photos/reports from the demonstration....

Photo archive
SL Unions

Reports from the Global Demonstration in SL

The protest against forced IBM outsourcing took place yesterday, after a global call by IWIS (IBM Workers International Solidarity)....after many "real" initiatives in previous day in Italy, Spain, France against FORCED OUTSOURCING OF EMPLOYEES FROM IBM TO AT&T AND RICOH, WITHOUT EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEES.... hundreds of people joined the virtual demonstration in SecondLife !
We showed also in the virtual world that there's a very big concern to our company about this situation, and we asked to open negotiations with worldwide IBM unions, country by country.
We asking respect for our job and guarantee of employment for the outsourced colleagues !

We had NSD and PSD people from many countries... but also non-IBM avatars: SL activists (thanks to CPSL, SLDM, SLLU), supporters, friends, unionists and employees representatives of IBM and other companies, journalists.
Confirmed partecipation from: Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, USA, Canada, Germany and other countries. Supporters also from UK and Switzerland.
Many interviews, and we had journalists coming to see and join the protest! Many national newspapers are preparing today articles about the IBM Global Demonstration !

In parallel of SL demonstration, an online petition signed by >500 employees ( was sent to Sam Palmisano and Randy MacDonald.


What happened in the last hours.....
After training courses in the previous days in "Union Island" (good partecipation!), a strike kit was ready for the IBMers with tshirts, signs and more objects to bring the protest inside the IBM's heart in SecondLife.
The meeting point for all of us was "Commonwealth Island"... many avatars were ready to demonstrate already one our previous the official start of the demonstration !
A big number of avatars, from many countries, was ready to protest at 6pm CET: they responded to the IWIS global call !!!
Thanks to a teletrasport and detailed instructions, different groups of protesters went to IBM, REUTERS and MANPOWER ! It was really a nice demonstration...the protest was full of coloured signs, slogans and noises... every avatar bring its words and concerns to IBM. The demonstration was also a moment with music and many discussions between the avatars about IBM and its strategy related to outsources and impacts on affected employees. We occupied the IBM main reception for 4 hours (!!!), stopping their activities (meet customers, give business information to the public) cause the sim reached the maximum allowed number of people, and no more avatars were able to come to IBM reception. No reactions from the IBMers that were working in the reception... but IBM sent many people to control what was happening inside its most important meeting point....
Some groups of protesters went in parallel to Reuters (the most famous journalist was present and discussed with the protesters) and Manpower !
Some protesters interrupted the business of Manpower and after a while been banned from their site.
But no griefers or problems: all the protesters were peaceful and respected all SL rules.

We got our objectives ! Demonstrate our concerns to IBM and to the public worldwide opinion.

Thanks to all the IBM employees worldwide that joined the demonstration with their fantasy, slogans...and protest's noises ! :-)
Thanks to all SL activists and supporters that helped us!
A particular thanks to John Wood TUC, Christine Revkin UNI Global Union and Vivienne Cassed Commonwealth Island.



Greetings to everyone I met last night at the IBM protest, it was a great atmosphere, with a good mix of people - IBM staffers from around the world, and a number of friends and supporters - old SL friends and new.

I only got to attend a bit of the demonstration myself unfortunately, but I took a few snaps of a crowd in IBM’s Business Center sim, one of the location sims chosen for the protest (once I’d been able to tp in that is, as the sim was so full of protestors that it was turning me away til I got lucky). A group of protestors had gone up to the penthouse reception to hold an impromptu party.

Johninnit Ni

Manifestation virtuelle globale IBM sous Second Life du 27-03: rapport

Bonjour à tous,

voici un rapport resume de la manif d'hier soir sous Second Life.

Au total pres de 100 avatars ont participé, et 50 au minimum sur la duree de l'action (4 heures).
Grosse Participation des pays suivants: Belgique, Italy, France, Espagne.
Participation Solidaire de collegues de UK, Suisse, Canada, Allemagne.

Dans Second Life,
Nous avons bloque l'IBM Business Center pendant tout ce temps, empechant de recontrer les clients sur ce hub commercial.
Nous sommes allés sur le site Manpower.... interrompu leur activité jusqu'à nous faire "bannir". Puis sur le site Reuters.
Des interviews ont été données à un journalistes de Reuters et des journalistes italiens (nationaux).

Uploading photos !!!

Some photos here...

If you have photo or video from yesterday's demonstration, pls send it to

Thursday, March 27, 2008

First picture...

first picture directly from the meeting point


Many people is already here at the meeting point with signs and tshirts !!!
They started to come 1 hour it's becoming a great event !!!

START IN 26 MINS ! (10 AM PDT -SeconLife Time)

IBM protest - the sequel! Join us this EVENING !

When the problems become global...the protest become GLOBAL !

IBM employees and their unions are protesting this evening in Second Life, at plans to outsource thousands of jobs without proper consultation. It's 6pm to 10pm CET (5pm-9pm GMT). Please join us, even if only for a while. Assembly is at Commonwealth island, or you'll find stuff on union island (IBM protest kit, free to use it!).

WELCOME TO IBM employees worldwide !
WELCOME TO SL activist, friends and supporters !!!

See u inworld this evening for a big event !!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Prepare for tomorrow's global protest in Second Life - Training and kit distribution tonight!
Come to the training course to learn how to:
- enter Second Life and to move around (for beginners),
- use the "IBM demonstration kit"
- and... get ready for the GLOBAL ACTION DAY against IBM's FORCED-OUTSOURCED JOBS....that will take place TOMORROW.

Come to the "Union Island" (search "Union Island" in the search menu once you're in Second Life and click "Teleport") at 9PM -central european time- this evening 26th of March 2008.

read here >>>

Worldwide IBMers please join us.
SL activists, friends, supporters are welcome too.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Press Communique



Global decisions from companies need Global action and response from employees. We saw that with the virtual strike and now we can do it with a virtual demonstration. The national unions, works councils and IWIS (IBM Workers International Solidarity) global network are organizing a global virtual demonstration against the outsourcing contract.
IBM is misusing outsourcing contracts to reduce the workforce in a cheap way. In this kind of contract, IBM is selling not only services and machines but also people. We can see that recently in the IBM NSD to AT&T contract and Printing Systems/ PSD maintenance to RICOH as well as other outsourcing deals.
IBM employees from Network Service Delivery are against forced outsourcing to AT&T and request negotiations right now!
AT&T market-share and competition in the European market and the past experience with this Telco provider leads to the conclusion that there is a high risk of job loss for the IBM jobs that will be transferred.
Therefore we, the International Unions at IBM, ask with 'One Global Voice' for IBM management to open negotiations immediately in countries and offer employees 'in scope' other options: voluntary-based transfers, guarantee of employment in the new company with a return ticket to IBM in case of failure within contract duration (5 years). Other options could be envisioned.
Different actions have taken place in different countries, demonstration, strikes, petitions online (535+ signatures collected), etc… over the past months. All of them are showing the large concern of the employees and their frustration and anger.
All unions clearly request IBM management to review this decision and to adjust it, taking into account respect for the employees as a person and recognize the need for job security on.
We are against forced jobs outsourcing to AT&T, RICOH, and future ones, and officially request win-win negotiations about job transfer terms and conditions, in the different countries, urgently!
On March 26, 2008 - IWIS (IBM Workers International Solidarity)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Organizing the GLOBAL ACTIONS DAY against forced IBM OUTSOURCED JOBS

....more details will come in the next hours....

27 th of MARCH 2008

TRAINING courses for SecondLife protesters:
25th and 26th of March, between 9 and 10 pm CET in "union island"

Monday, February 11, 2008


Dear friends,
we are very proud to say that the great IBM virtual strike we organized on 27th of Sept 2007 on Second Life, is selected as one of the 100 web initiatives more innovative on the web for 2007, and it will be awarded as one of the 10 initiatives more original and impacting.
info here:
Because innovation is driven by digital culture, on February 14th & 15th, 2008, 400 leading French political, business and media figures will attend the Netxplorateur Forum at the Senate to explore the opportunities the Web is opening up.
The Netxplorateur Forum will enable decision-makers in politics and business to grasp the Net generation's culture and how it is transforming our institutions' and companies' governance and management principles.
A cool video, in 5 languages (french, italian, english, german, spanish) will be launched worldwide on 14/2 during the Forum in Paris.
It will describe to all the world what is really happened in that historical day...
The video will be available since 14/2 on YouTube and it can be downloaded with Emule (search for "IBM Virtual strike").
Check the IBM SL blog, after 14/2, for all details.
On UNI's house in Second Life (jump to this slurl) is open a musem on the IBM Virtual protest.
This victory is dedicated to all IBM Employees worldwide and to the people that every day in the world are defending employees' rights.
IBM SL Strike Organization Team

Monday, November 5, 2007

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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IBM Italy: situation unblocked!

Following the historical protest against IBM Italy in Second Life, on 27th September, some important developments have taken place:
  • Mr Andrea Pontremoli, IBM Italy’s CEO (who personally received all of your petitions by email) has resigned.
    It seems our Virtual action had an impact on his role at IBM.
    IBM Corporation made a complaint to IBM Italy for the way they’ve managed the negotiations with the thousands of employees and how they’ve let it lead to such a harmful image for the company.
  • The works council hopes to return to the negotiations' table: we'll hear more at the beginning of next week.
A big thank you goes to all people who supported IBM Italy workers in their struggle over the last 6 weeks. From protesters who came to Second Life and joined the action, to the petitioners who wrote letters to IBM Europe management, to those who took the time to give their ideas on how to proceed when there were no visible results to our protest and to the press who covered the event in more than 30 countries which helped put pressure on IBM as well.

Some of the original ideas IBM Protest supporters gave us

We have kept these anonymous - of course - they are just here to give an idea of what reactions were to our online questionnaire on what the next steps after the protest should Real Life, in Second Life or...?
Industrial action should be considered depending upon what is legally possible in Italy - I am not familiar with this particular jurisdiction.
However, it needs to be in conjunction with other activities. For example, engaging other groups and individuals who are sympathetic, advertising/commentary on and offline.
I think your idea of getting feedback from everyone who completed the survey is excellent. No doubt you'll be drowned in emails ... It would be good, if possible, if you can seek this insight from time to time throughout the campaign.
We must communicate to media the answer of our management since the protest was entirely successful and was been spread by media all over the world
My suggestion is to have a continued presence at IBM SL Locations until IBM goes back to the negotitions.
We could have small groups of protesters (5 to 10 people) at all IBM sites maybe daily with signs saying "IBM Must negotiate". of course we should let the press and the worldwide unions know and give publicity that the protests continue and IBM is not negotiating in good faith.
In my opinion, Second Life activities are very interesting because they do not take place in a "common" atmosphere and therefore allow to be more flexible on time, place, and even to be "anonimous" because behind the screen... etc.
They may attract more people because the system is built on a "video game" scheme, so it is a "separete world" were more fantasy is allowed and new ideas could be brought up.
I think it is valuable too to consider that to go to Second Life and feel "at home" from everywhere in the world is the most important point because the barriers of distance, countries, cultures fell down and allow people to gather and feel close to each other in a very easy and simple way...
I think we must continue ours actions by appearing during IBM meeting with customers.
IBM often organizes events in Second Life to present new products to customers.
During this event we must arrive there with the same messages we used during the "strike".
We must give the message that we can arrive in any moment in any public IBM location.
Combine the two activities. The virtual strike got you much more publicity abroad and in the IT world in general.
But the real life strike should really involve your workers and be a physical presence that managers can notice the minute they drive into the car park. If you have 9000 employees you need a significant proportion of them to take part in some sort of industrial action, even if it's short of a strike. We've found that the best way to maximise on time without going out on strike is to have demonstations before work time and again in the lunch hour - and lobby all management meetings as routine.
In my humble opinion AND experience the ONLY thing IBM would understand is being HIT in the pocketbook. Therefore, I propose a WORLD WIDE BOYCOTT of ALL IBM products. Give us a list of ALL the products that IBM is involved with including software and hardware, PLUS any products that IBM may use in their production. ANY international media that continues to advertise IBM should FIRST be warned, THEN BOYCOTTED ALSO!
IN ADDITION, any Union funds invested in IBM should be DIVESTED to the point of COSTING IBM at the bottom line.
Use Second Life activities to leverage other media.
For example, a second life machinima could combine with real life strike activities/footage to make an hybrid SL/RL Youtube movie that would be newsworthy, if well done.
I think a new Second Life action identical to the first has no meaning. But couldn't it be possible to have permanent "camps" around the IBM buildings in SL? To me it seemed that it is not necessary to be active when you are in SL - some persons could log in, place their avatars in a camp, and then do other things while the avatar stays in camp with signs etc. Then it lasts for a long time, and more people notice it.
Otherwise a good old-fashioned online campaign could be an option? The last Labourstart campaign reached about 13.000 e-mails. But it has to be a succesful campaign - Labourstart has more than 50.000 on the e-mail lists, and while the IBM strike now has become famous, t should be possible to reach a good number of protest e-mails.
And as always - virtual strikes and actions must be followed with actions in real life. That's what normally hurts the most.
The first two ideas are, I feel, applicable as a follow up but should, in the case of a strike, be sure not to jeopardize the workers job security by simply walking out and refusing to work outright.
Th action should be in a form which creates a potential tie-up in the company's production without being so obvious on first glance. Creative use of a slowdown, "working to rule" or other ways to jam up the gears of how IBM generates revenue from your labor would be the most effective way to extract a positive result in your favor. I'm not sure about the specific actions necessary to achieve this but thought your union would be able to be creative and thoughtful about the most effective ways to strike while remaining on the job. Be strong, have fun!
To join to the protest, don't talk about install anything in the laptops. These are IBM laptops and the company doesn't allow install anything here.
I think that this is one reason because more people from here didn't join to the protest. They thought that they should install one program in their laptops.
I think that if you give more facilities to the people to join to the protest (only click a link), the protest have more success.
Have a global IBM real life strike, were all IBM workers from all countries go on strike because hay what’s 9,000 workers on strike mean to a massive global business, not a lot rely but if every office in every country stopped working then its a major problem for them.

sorry we cannot publish all great ideas, there are so many of them! let us know if you would like to see more...webmaster(a)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

50 High-Res Strike Pix Ready for Distribution
in 4 shared sub-folders covering 2ish-hr timespans.
You can download them @ full resolution too !!!

Thanks to the great Dalinian Bing !!!

Friday, September 28, 2007



1853 -vere- persone hanno protestato tramite i loro computer da oltre 30 paesi, mostrando solidarieta' ai lavoratori italiani IBM.
La protesta si e' svolta in 7 isole IBM su Second Life, e in particolare su IBM Italia e l' IBM Business Centre.
Molti lavoratori italiani di IBM hanno partecipato all'evento dopo l'orario di lavoro, dalle 19 alle 22.

E' stato segnalato che Second Life ha avuto delle difficolta' tecniche, poiche' crediamo sia stato raggiunto un elevato numero di partecipanti.

IBM finora non ha ufficialmente risposto alla nostra protesta.
Comunque, IBM ha chiuso parte del suo Business Centre ai visitatori (o, in verita', ai protestanti).
Un gruppo di partecipanti ha causato lo stop di un IBM staff meeting durante il pomeriggio -riunione durante la quale era stato richiesto di lasciare la stanza e "protestare fuori". Invece, i protestanti hanno chiesto di parlare al Management IBM. Ma lo staff meeting, che sembrava stesse discutendo riguardo nuove funzionalita' del website IBM, e' stato chiuso in anticipo.

La copertura dei media su questo evento e' stata impressionante.
La notizia della protesta e' stata rilanciata da blog, radio e stazioni TV, giornali e podcast in numerosi paesi.
Una TV nazionale italiana ha dato la notizia dell'evento nell' edizione serale, per circa 5 minuti, mostrando foto da SecondLife e i suoi circa 2000 manifestanti.

Altre informazioni su questa storica protesta arriveranno nei prossimi giorni.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Real" success for "Virtual" IBM Protest

More than 1’850 -real- people protested behind their computers in over 30 countries to show solidarity with IBM Italy workers.
The protest took place at 7 IBM locations, and in particular at IBM Italia and the IBM Business Centre in Second Life.
Many Italian IBM workers joined the event after work, from 7pm to 10pm Rome, Italy time.

It was reported that Second Life was having some technical difficulties, which is why we believe we could have reached an even higher number of participants.

IBM did not officially react to our protest so far.
However, they did shut down parts of their Business Centre to visitors (or really, protesters).
A number of participants managed to crash an IBM staff meeting during the afternoon - where they were immediately asked to leave and to "protest outside".
Instead, they demanded to speak to Management. But the staff meeting, which seemed to be about the new IBM website functionalities, was called to an end.

The media coverage for this event was impressive.
The news about the protest was covered by blogs, radio and TV stations, newspapers and podcasts in numerous countries.
Italy's national TV station highlighted the event in the evening news during 5 minutes, showing screenshots from Second Life and its almost 2’000 protesters.

More information about this historical protest will come in the next days.

Staff celebrate

Doors to IBM Italy re-open!

IBM Italy's reached full capacity! Which is why it is hard to get has to leave the protest for another to join...
There are 4 more locations we recommend going to for the protest! Find them at the Central platform here:

Live video from IBM protest LOCATIONS !

Video from the protest locations !! una bellissima protesta virtuale !!!

thanks for the video to: Vincente Broome.

Famous Italian SL artist joins protest in solidarity...and in her own special way!

Artist Gazira Babeli joins Protest participants today with her own special performance:

Mario Bross figurines sprinkle over IBM buildings...

Gazira Babeli is a Second Life code performer who clearly states political messages in her work.
Why Mario Bross at our IBM protest? ask her! :-)

Numbers the Media loves (and we do too)

It's 6:30 pm (London UK time) and we've been protesting for over 9 hours straight. A little less than three to go, keep it up, people! We have well-passed, and this was 2 hours ago, the 1'000 participants!

phew, unbelievable. Have you ever seen a world protest of well over 1000 people from at least 30 countries?
And more to come, as the Americas wake up and Italian IBM workers are now finishing work and able to join.

Some of the proud UNI staff

Protesters CRASH IBM staff meeting at Virtual Business center

Remember the IBM Business Center I was telling you about? The one that closed down some parts so protesters couldn't enter anymore?
Well I don't know what miracle happened, but my avatar got a real staff meeting!
They were discussing the corporate website's new functionalities, it seems. So since I managed to get in, why not call some of my protester friends?
Minutes later, some 20 participants and staff teleported to literally crash the meeting. We had people saying slogans, some beeping sounds, horns and again, the jumping up and down with our banners and flying fish...It was the most disrupting event I've witnessed so far...!
The poor IBM staff were quite confused and asked us to go protest outside. We, in return, demanded to speak to IBM management to put forward our requests.
They ended up canceling their meeting.

More disruption? We didn't think it would be possible, but we managed to place our protest signs in some IBM locations in Second Life!
The proof in image here ("canned in Canada") - follow the arrow to see our signs!:

More news soon...

IBM closes parts of its islands to protesters

So...I said in my previous post: no reaction from IBM! Well did that trigger something? Or was it all the protesting going on that was annoying them?
In any case, IBM Staff avatar, toony kohime has been going around the islands and closing some down.
Protesters banned entry to IBM Business center!
But we won't stop.

Virtual or real?

I don't know about you, but this is my first virtual protest! Surprising to notice how close to RL (Real Life) it really is...
I'm in a virtual world, protesting outside IBM offices, but I'm still hungry, my fingers are getting cold (my office is in Switzerland) and people in Second Life are exactly as you'd expect them to be in the streets: SHOUTING slogans, jumping up and down, picketing and mingling. You have the quiet ones who sit on a bench and watch, the really original ones with funny outfits (I met a French speaking Banana today), and the ones playing music and talking too.

Yet, nothing's normal: no one I meet "has" a real name, I have no idea if they are all IBM workers, trade unionists or spies, if they are from Canada or India! But they all showed up, speaking many languages, demonstrating with the banners, all wearing colored IBM t-shirts...

Nothing's normal, except that IBM management hasn't met with us in SL and still hasn't offered a response to our repeated requests for a return to the bargaining table and decent wages and benefits for its Italian workers. We'll just have to keep going at it!!