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Working poor?


German union ver.di are part of the Union Island project, and have launched their first work on the island, a great exhibition on the campaign a national minimum wage for Germany. Based around an articulated truck trailer that they use for their Real Life campaign, they show portraits and case studies of 10 people for whom the lack of a consistent minimum is a big problem. Outside the trailer, you can see photos and video from their campaign last year, taking the truck on tour all around Germany. Read more »

Free Osanloo! Today!

the crew visit the island

Today (6 March) is the international day of action to support Mansour Osanloo – have a look at to get involved. Union Island had a visitation from the crew to show their support. is an interesting project, based in Germany, using 5 publicly shared avatars to explore what happens when many people share one identity, rather than the individual and secret identities of other SL residents. Anyone can log in as one of the crew and contribute to the project. You can follow the adventures of (from left to right in the photo) , Matsuka Imako, Teedra Roussel, Jarvis Clavenham, Cecilia Lohner and Maxxx Illios at the blog – Who will be them (and who will they be?) tomorrow?

(hat tip – Second Travel)

Come Xplore the IBM protest museum

IBM protest museum

New on Union Island is a special skybox museum telling the story of last year’s IBM protest. The event was a great success, attracting around 1,850 avatar protestors onto IBM’s SL campus, and it was crucial in securing a good deal for IBM Italy staff who had been hit by a pay cut and refusal by management to negotiate. Take a quick trip (you can teleport in from the IBM monument in the north west of Union Island), and find out what happened, and what went on behind the scenes to organise this extraordinary event.

Proud centrepiece of the museum is this friendly robot – a Second Life recreation of the trophy awarded to the protest project team at the recent Forum Netxplorateur, a high level conference on the social and business impacts of the new internet in Paris. The protest was chosen as one of the 10 top Netxplorateurs of the year – projects that had shown exceptional innovation and promise for societal change. You can see the full list of 2008’s 100 Netxplorateurs at their site. Read more »

Our island in the sun…

Union Island

This great shot of Union Island is combination of the talents of Matthaios Aquacade of Citrus Virtual, who designed and built the island for us (more pics at her site), and Adam Soler of Lookr, who must have used the mother-of-all-Macs to zoom this far out and line up the photo so nicely. Kudos to both! If you have any snaps of Union Island or unionism in SL, we’d love to see them!

User Group report

User Group second session

Many thanks to everyone who came along to our first ever User Group meetings. 13 avatars came by to discuss the project and how we should develop it (here are snaps of most of them), and we got some really great ideas on things like better engagement with German speakers, viral freebies to raise awareness of the project, working with labor/business departments of universities in SL, and low-key codes of conduct to help us deal more consistently with people who flaunt them. Speaking of which, we even had our first spot of minor griefing, which is another milestone of sorts! ;) Read more »

Free Osanloo! Tomorrow!

Mansour Osanloo video in Second Life

Tomorrow is the ITF’s global day of action for Mansour Osanloo and other jailed union activists in Iran. Please spare a moment to visit and take all the actions there if you haven’t yet.

In SL you can pick up shirts and badges (and make sure to wear them around tomorrow), and view the film “Freedom Will Come” in Union Island reception.

Do something monumental!


Contest to design a new part of Union Island!

In late September 2007, around 1,850 avatars converged on IBM campus sims to mount a 12 hour protest. IBM Italy had cut a performce bonus worth 1000 Euro to staff, and refused to negotiate on it. The Second Life protest was reported all over SL and the web, and coupled with the threat of real world strikes to follow, IBM Italy agreed to go back to negotation with the union, and gave the workers back their pay.

This was only one more union campaign of the type that are going on every day around the globe, but the significance of Second Life in the dispute was something totally new. Labor historically has been fond of monuments to our great victories (and some of the defeats), so we thought it would be fun to have a moderm monument to a modern event. Can you use SL building tools and your own imagination to help make something which will tell people the story? Read more »

Fashion news: Spring collection at Union Island


If you’ve not been by our freebie store yet, now is the time to visit, as we’ve just got two very nice new Union Island T-shirts for avatars to take away with them, made for us by the very talented Adam Soler of SL clothing designers Lookr. Now you can show you’re proud to be a unionist without having to compromise in the fashion stakes ;) Read more »

Have your say!

Tomorrow is the first of our Union Island User Group meetings. It’s happening in the bar on Union Island, at 9am GMT (1am SLT) and 7pm GMT (11am SLT). Come along and have your say on what we do with the Union Island project.

We’re holding it twice to make it time-zone friendly, but you’re very welcome to either (or both) of the sessions. See you there!

UPDATE: We hope to have a presentation on Mansour Osanloo and the situation for unionists in Iran from Makulata Waco of the ITF at the 9am GMT session.

We’re all wearing the badge!

Free Osanloo supporter

Makulata Waco wearing the Free Osanloo shirt and badge. Taken from the ITF’s “I’m wearing the badge!” Flickr group.

If you get a badge, upload a snap to Flickr and let ITF know, so they can put you on the growing photo-wall of SL and RL campaigners for Mansour Osanloo.

© Trades Union Congress 2007