Wednesday, September 19

Quick Take: Virtual Pay? Virtual Strike

During negotiations with IBM, the union representing workers for the Italian branch of the computer giant asked for a salary increase. The request was denied, and the usual "performance bonus" incentives canceled. In response, the Italian union, together with Union Network International, have planned a virtual strike to occur in Second Life next week.

Interested residents can teleport to Commonwealth Island, where they're armed with a strike kit: from a UNI t-shirt, to signs stating "Our demand was...." and even giant animated fish which can be carried like balloons.

Gimmicky? Sure. Virtually useless? Not at all. What UNI understands is that the virtual can swing the physical - global media will ignore a local computer branch in Italy, but a strike via the transnational Second Life is both bizaare and compelling. From Information Week to The Register, ABC Spain to Radio Canada, UNI received the awareness which is so vital for activism.

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