Saturday, February 09, 2008

Union busting on Second Life?

Received a TUC email alert inviting me to a “Let's talk union busting. Online chat for organisers and activists. Monday 11 February, 6pm-7pm GMT”. It will feature Stewart Acuff, Director of Organising at the AFL-CIO, and Paul Nowak, TUC National Organiser. So far so good.

I then realised this conversation is being hosted on the “new Union Island virtual island in 'Second Life'. Second Life is a social network, represented in 3D computer graphics. Millions of people worldwide (as well as hundreds of organisations and companies) use it to network internationally, holding meetings, events and campaigns. You can find out more about Second Life at

Union Island is a space in this world for trade unions and unionists. A number of international union organisations are working to build a shared collaborative space for union events and networking. You can find out more about Union Island, and get details on how to attend the online chat at The online chat will take place on Union Island in Second Life at 6pm GMT on Monday 11 February.

So far I have avoided “Second life” since I’m still trying to get to grips with blogging (never mind face book). I’ve registered on Union Island blog and set up a free account with Second Life (name is Grayee Naglo) and hopefully I’ll be home in time on Monday to log on and find out more about it and union busting.

UPDATE: forgot about Newham UNISON rally - so looks like I won't be able to make it for 6pm.


Anonymous said...

Union Island?
Get a life!

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
For once you may well be right!
However, something pretty “revolutionary” is happening and we should all be a bit open minded on how things will actually work out in the future.

John said...

You probably have the right attitude here John - healthy scepticism but curiosity in new stuff that might just turn out relevant. I'm rather more in the starry eyed category at times, and so it's no surprise I think there could be a number of concrete uses in this one (some of them now, but half of them in learning for making the most of the way the internet develops over the next few years). See you on the virtual beach if you make it to any of the future events there!

John Gray said...

Hi John
Last night was very interesting. However, whether union 2nd life works out or not it is important because it shows that the Labour movement is trying to globalise to meet new challenges.

Also, that they should take risks with new ways of doing things and not to be afraid of failure.

Neil said...

Union Island is definately an interesting use of Second Life. Corporations are moving in to the platform tio use as a cheap conferencing area. they have managed to negotiate space in which their chatlogs are not saved on the Linden Lab servers - can the unions do this as well?

Union island has been a great source for people who are union activists like myself, to get information or just have a chat with like minded people.

Well done TUC/ John!

John Gray said...

Hi Plot Tracer
Thanks for that – Now the elections are over I must go back to union island more often!

John Gray said...
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