[biztech-discussion] Re: BizTech campaign direction

  • From: Rob Ramer <RobRamer@xxxxxx>
  • To: biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 17:46:17 -0500

Bruce & Mike, Thanks for your comments on the IEEE conference.  We did try 
to get on a panel but were politely turned down, which is appropriate as 
Samantha says they are a polite non-profit.  Since I KNOW we will have a 
plan of action and a position by September, Mike's approach of leafletting 
the conference is something I'll try to follow-up on.

I understand that Kenya and Al were doing some phone calling to try to form 
a campaign committee this week-end. Hopefully, we will soon hear from them 
on this list.

The plan on this issue has been to form a campaign committee and for this 
cmte to come up with a plan and a strategy. That it has taken so long is 
due to the fact that Al Weinraub, Andreas, & myself (who discussed this 
back in early March) have all been inundated with work.  So my apologies 
for lack of action on this issue but hopefully that will change.

Regarding Bruce's comments about who will make the plan, I think it is up 
to those of us (you, because my current work puts me in an awkward position 
so that I can't publicly be anti-outsourcing - I currently am involved with 
IT security work for companies who do offshore outsourcing).  So if any of 
you, (Bruce, Samantha, Mike, Amy, are all people who have had very 
intelligent comments on the issue) could volunteer to work on a specific 
plan that would be great.

Officially for the union to take a position, and to allocate resources, the 
plan would have to be approved at least by the NEC or the new NEB (NEC plus 
local chairs) or the delegates.  One we have a plan, I think that the NEC 
will support it as we have voted to allocate part of Kenya's time to the 

Having a Bay Area based approach makes a lot of sense to me, perhaps 
supplemented by cmte volunteers from other areas, maybe especially 
Seattle.  I also think it is important to reach out to others, especially 
ex-members like David Beckman who are active on the issue.  (He said he'd 
rejoin if the NWU started working on the issue).  At this point, I think we 
need to just come up with an achievable plan focused on certain objectives, 
like the ones Bruce suggested around making outsourcing more costly and 
difficult.  And then start doing it.

Regarding the strategic approach and the discussion of whether 
globalization is inevitable or not.  The trend of capitalism has been to 
expand for many centuries and given the current technology we are now 
dealing with a global labor market.  In that sense, the free-marketeers are 
right that we can't just put up arbitrary barriers.  But the way I see the 
suggestions that Bruce raised ("trying to eliminate
the tax and other government incentives that encourage off-shoring, and to 
begin trying to establish government restriction & regulation of
off-shoring by starting with the personal security, privacy, and national 
infrastructure security aspects") are under the issue of costs of doing 
business.  When companies jump around the world to the cheapest labor 
markets they are cutting their costs but they are creating social and 
economic costs (including privacy and security vulnerabilities).  They are 
forcing society and/or the impacted workers to absorb the costs that they 
create.  So establishing some regulations that make the companies 
accountable can be raised in that vein.  Even Forrester (I believe or was 
it Gardener?  They all blur after awhile) called for a 1 or 2 percent 
offshoring tax that would be used to aid workers who were left behind.

So let's get a cmte together and come up with a 3-5 point action plan that 
we can all agree to work on.  Then we can have our wonderful NWU debates 
about the grand issues but still be working on something.


At 10:48 AM 6/4/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>At 10:40 AM 6/4/2004, you wrote:
> >I know others disagree with me. But I think only geographically-based
> >organizing is ever going to build NWU beyond a small core group.
> >Internet-based organizing just leads to high membership turnover and lack of
> >cohesion. Call it the Howard Dean mistake. You can put together impressive
> >membership numbers for a short while, but you don't have anything to build
> >upon. I advocate we pick a target. probably the Bay Area, and create an
> >organizing model there.
>Samantha, I agree with you. Again and again I have seen national-level
>"campaigns" simply peter out and blow away. A specific, local-level
>campaign makes a lot of sense. The Bay Area is a good choice because
>there's so much happening in BizTech there, but I want to see more
>happening at other locals, too. But one by one seems like a good way to go.
>Amy Rose

Other related posts: