[biztech-discussion] Re: Moving Forward #2

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 10:16:07 -0600

I'm probably going to regret posting this, but here it goes...

1. Campaign Leadership: Bruce brought up another point in his earlier posts.
Who is going to run the BizTech campaign? An ad-hoc committee formed to
throw around campaign ideas is not leadership. Someone has to run the
campaign. I've seen no postings or support from the current BizTech
Co-Chairs. Is the campaign going forward without their direct involvement?
Why? Who is ultimately in charge of the campaign? What role will the EOVP

2. Research: why isn't the UAW research dept being asked to do our
background research? I don't have time to write in-depth white papers as a
volunteer. Even if I did, it would be months before I finished. The Nov
election is less than 5 months away. Which means we'd need to publicize
candidate positions by early Oct. The Dems in NM have been losing recently
due to early absentee balloting! By Nov, many of the ballots have already
been cast. So the actual election day is too late. Which means candidate
positions need to be surveyed and DONE in Sept. Which would mean NWU's final
positions should be taken by Aug., in time for the NEB meeting in NYC, I
would assume. Which would leave all the research and final writing for June
and July.

Oh, yeah. We're also supposed to be bringing a bunch of other groups
onboard. I don't know what other kind of volunteer help you folks have. But
we've lost one-third of the At-Large membership in the last 6 months. Our
current volunteers are being stretched just to handle the load to offset the
volunteers we've lost.

3. Direct Action. Talking about stuff is fine. I would rather see our
members asked to do things like a PR committee for BizTech to do the
publicizing of our issues in connection with other groups like WashTech and
Techs Unite. Do I have time to form and run the committee? No. I would also
like to see plans for actual union organizing of worksites by NWU.


> Dear Folks,
> A few weeks ago Bruce Hartford proposed a concrete plan of action to
> this list. In it, he called for a staged approach to taking up the
> offshoring issue within the union in this election year. Very few have
> commented directly on Bruce's proposal.
> I would like to address Bruce's proposal in light of some of the
> comments that have been made on this list.
> But first, as a reminder, Bruce proposed an NWU offshoring campaign as
> follows:
> Stage 1: Prepare summary and in-depth position papers on two issues upon
> which to base anti-offshoring legislation:
>         - Tax incentives and public agencies are subsidizing or
> encouraging the offshoring of high-tech and related jobs, thereby
> undermining U.S. worker's livlihoods at taxpayers expense.
>         - Offshoring of high-tech work involving personal medical and
> financial data poses a broad personal privacy threat to U.S. citizens.
> Stage 2: On the basis of these positions, launch an effort to gather
> support from union members, other writers, the high-tech community, and
> other unions and organizations for legislation addressing these two
> issues. This is an organizing-recruiting effort, that can be taken up
> locally and coordinated nationally.
> Stage 3: Organize delegations to Congressional and Senatorial
> candidates, presenting petitions, and asking for these candidates'
> support before the elections. The union will subsequently publicize
> their positions.
> Stage 4: Past November, we continue to work for passage of  the above
> legislation and to organize writers and others behind this effort.
> Bruce's proposal is the only concrete organizing proposal that has been
> made on this list so far. Some here have pointed to the high economic
> stakes involved in the offshoring issue. That information is important
> to winning union members and others to taking up an anti-offshoring
> campaign, and could be used in campaign materials. Others have argued
> for or aginst the importance of media publicity, but have not related
> their comments to any organizing activity nor to Bruce's specific
> proposal. Others call for action, but have not related that call to any
> specific proposal.
> Bruce's campaign proposal has many strengths. It focuses our efforts to
> a couple key areas that would have broad appeal, even among people who
> do not feel immediately in jeopardy of losing their jobs. It proposes
> concrete organizing activity. It details specific work required to
> prepare for and implement the campaign. And it provides an avenue for
> working with other unions and organizations to build political pressure.
> Kenya and I have begun meeting with CWA representatives to understand
> their strategy on the offshoring issue, including their WashTech and
> TechsUnite initiatives. This exchange seems promising. CWA, for example,
> has one campaign to pressure congressional assistance for those who are
> having  their jobs offshored, and in the short term, we could support
> such efforts, as suggested by some on this list. However, such
> legislation addresses the impact of offshoring--it does not build
> opposition to offshoring. The CWA has also done some research on
> existing legislative initiatives, which we could probably leverage for
> an NWU campaign.
> In the meantime, we need to hear who is willing to work on putting
> together the kind of campaign proposed by Bruce, or to hear other
> campaign proposals. Our goal on this discussion list is to suggest a
> strategy and organizing campaign to the national NWU leadership as soon
> as possible, and to begin moving on such a campaign.
> Concretely, who on this list is willing to help research and write up
> the following campaign materials:
> 1. One pager and more in-depth analysis of governmental support for
> offshoring (tax incentives, contracts to offshored verdors, and the like)
> 2. One pager and more in-depth analysis of the personal privacy threats
> of offshoring
> 3. One pager and more in-depth analysis directed to high-tech workers
> (and writers) about the threat of offshoring to their livlihoods and
> communities, both immediately and in the future
> 4. Info about existing legislation addressing the governmental support
> for offshoring and the threat to personal privacy.
> I want close this email message by saying that the above work cannot be
> done by the national leadership or staff of the union. We can help
> organize, coordinate, and build support for a campaign, but we do not
> have the resources to do the kind of research and writing referred to in
> the paragraph above. This is work that needs to be done by activists. I
> hope that some of you, at least, will volunteer to do this work, do part
> of it, or find it, if it already exists somewhere else. (One person has
> already volunteered to work on one of the four items above.)
> Please call me or Kenya if you have any questions or comments, or post
> them here.
> Al (510-531-6692)
> Kenya (510-839-6092)
> .

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