Social Media, Insecure Work and New Solidarities
May 17th, 2013
Downtown UCLA Labor Center
675 South Park View St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Summary: Rapid technological change, globalization and volatile competitive conditions have contributed to growing insecurity in work, in which the workplace is less frequently a site of long-term stability and collective experiences of work have been eroded as a basis for solidarity. In recent years, however, we have seen growth in innovative organizing that is connecting people around labor issues across multiple and disparate places—including workers centers networks, immigrant worker organizing, and broad sectoral organizing including goods distribution (from ports, to warehouses, to Walmart) and food chain industries. What are the conceptions of work that underpin these new formations of labor solidarity? What role do social media play in shaping solidarity within these networks? In what ways have new forms of social media superseded more traditional forms of labor communications?
Format: 25-35 people, including researchers, communication experts, social media activists, labor and community organizers. The day is structured into four broad topics, with discussions ‘seeded’ by a few identified people who will make short (5-7 minute) contributions to help jump-start a broader conversation amongst all those participating.
Outcome: More clearly identify how the research, teaching, experience and enthusiasm of academics in California can assist in integrating new media technologies with innovative organizing strategies of those working for economic and social justice for precarious and unorganized workers in California. By the end of the day’s work, we hope to have the following tasks completed:
● A mission statement underlining the strategy forward for a collaboration between academics and labor in California around new media technologies and innovative organizing.
● Plans for strengthening our on-line resource site that brings together associated organizations, projects and individuals that enables further communication and collaboration
● A deeper understanding of how research, teaching, and other resources of the academy in California can be most helpful over the next 3-5 years in supporting innovative social media strategies and organizing in our economic areas of focus: the food system, immigrant workers, transport/goods movements and related retail activities.