nanogeek asks: "I've worked for a few years in the computing infrastructure/support department of a large university. In my time here, there have been organizational movements and/or strikes by many segments of the employee and student population (librarians walking out, grad-students seeking a fair wage for TA responsibilities, etc). However, none of this fervor for collective bargaining and fair treatment by the upitty-ups seems to have touched our department; and this seems to be rather endemic to geekjobs. In a year when commerce was brought to a halt on the west coast over a dispute about the change in the use of technology in the shipping industry, I have seen my department and my co-workers displaced, disrespected, displeased, and occasionally dismissed over the same kinds of technological shifts (in both my case and that of the longshoremen, the changes require retraining and reshuffling of workload, manpower, and payment). Common complaints have been that we were never consulted before these changes were enacted, and I wonder if a powerful union could be the answer. Is there room for such labor organization amongst geeks? Does the mutability of the technology involved preclude the kind of stasis brought about by unionization? Does the status of the economy currently make it so that any attempt at such broad-based organization could be circumvented by black-listing and purging members from the rolls? Or could a powerful geekunion bring about a sea-change after which a modicum of parity between the bosses and the drones could be established?"
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