SLunionisland » Events Union Island: International unions in Second Life Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:04:53 +0000 en hourly 1 SL Earth Week is coming! Mon, 06 Apr 2009 10:30:58 +0000 Johninnit Ni

A nicely made machinima trailer for Second Life’s Earth Week celebrations. Co-ordinated by a network of SL activists, 18th April to 25th April will see a programme of events, discussions, concerts, happening right across SL and right across timezones, but all aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues amongst Second Life users. Check out the organisers’ site at

]]> 0
Big Rights Debate on Union Island Wed, 17 Dec 2008 16:41:32 +0000 Johninnit Ni snapshot_005.jpg

Thanks to everyone who came to our event for SL’s Human Rights Festival on Monday. We had an ambitious plan to link senior international unionists in Brussels, Geneva and London, and it nearly worked!

We had two great presentations from Philip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, and Owen Tudor, Head of International for the TUC, and brought in Zuzanna Gorska, Polish federation Solidarnosc’s (Solidarity) member of the ITUC Human Rights Excecutive for a discussion afterwards.

Here’s a log of the questions to the panel that we took after the presentations (which were in voice):


[8:20]  Zuzanna Strazytski: So, hello, my name is Zuzanna, I work for Solidarnosc, the polish trade union
[8:21]  Zuzanna Strazytski: how about discussing a bit universal human rights from trade union perspective:)
[8:24]  Zuzanna Strazytski: i think solidarnosc has to reconsider its role and find the way back to the times when it was talking about workers rights not only in tradetional workplace context – ans perhaps that is why wwe all are here :)
[8:25]  Zuzanna Strazytski: because workers rights are human rights and human rights cannot be efficiently protected without solving workplace problems
[8:27]  Zuzanna Strazytski: ok, does anybody have any questions? or does anybody else want to talk ? :)
[8:29]  Monarchy Republic: how did Lech Walesa build the grassroots to gain support?
[8:29]  johninnit Ni: Thanks Monarchy
[8:29]  Amandeep Timeless: How can we introduce an environmental and working conditions index for all products? How can we give consumers power to choose to support environmental and humane working conditions? crazy proposition: LEWCI – Legacy Environmental Working Conditions Iindex
[8:29]  johninnit Ni: Zuzanna, are you able to answer that for us please?
[8:29]  Zuzanna Strazytski: :)
[8:31]  Zuzanna Strazytski: lech walesa and solidarnosc “success” – i think the key isseue was solidarity between workes of different sectors – some more powerful – who did not give up after gaining their goles – but were fighting for the weaker ones. and this has a symbolic meaning i think. solidarity is not ethical postulate. its a strategy that works
[8:32]  H3 Turbo: do you operate a open forum or have a sand box here in SL for all 20 million members to openly and publicly, maybe even annonomously, conect and voice issues
[8:32]  johninnit Ni: one for me I think
[8:32]  johninnit Ni: we do – sort of. this is still a young project, and only a section of unions from around the world are involved, but we have got plans for this kind of thing.
[8:33]  johninnit Ni: SL has a double digital divide for activism, you need first to explain what the medium is
[8:33]  H3 Turbo: 20 miliion members and you consider your orginization young?
[8:33]  johninnit Ni: before you can explain what you’re doing in it
[8:34]  johninnit Ni: no – the island here is 9 months
[8:34]  johninnit Ni: so we have training sessions for members and activists a sandbox, introductions and so on
[8:34]  Monarchy Republic: :)
[8:35]  johninnit Ni: but it’s very difficult to keep up on capacity, and we’re always after help (hint)


[8:35]  OwenT Turbo: To answer Ammandeep’s question, there are many tools consumers can use to buy ethical products – the well known Fair Trade logo means producers get a fairer wage – the Ethical Trading Initiative which the TUC supports encourages companies to improve working conditions and so on. But the best way to support trade union rights is to build trade unions, here and abroad – a donation to TUC Aid would help us do that in other countries! See
[8:35]  Monarchy Republic: it took the whole the Industrialrevolutionand TwoWorlds Wars to get anywhere last time
[8:35]  H3 Turbo: auto clear sand box…………after a day or so….is pretty simple
[8:36]  H3 Turbo: did we get anywhere?
[8:36]  Monarchy Republic: yes
[8:36]  johninnit Ni: you’ll find the sandbox behind the bar. it’s group user only, so you need to join union island user group,  which you’re very welcome to!
[8:36]  H3 Turbo: is group membership open?
[8:36]  johninnit Ni: yes
[8:36]  johninnit Ni: Junivers has a question from a question from Philip’s presentation – How come that woman still are so underpaid?
[8:37]  Carlo Sixpence: how to join?
[8:37]  johninnit Ni: Union Island User Group in search

[8:37]  OwenT Turbo: Women are still so underpiad partly because unions have not been able to secure sufficient legal protections, but we also have to admit that sometimes male leaderships don’t adequately reflect what women workers want. So we need to make sure more women are in the leaderships of unions, and that union leaders do more to represent ALL their members. But the main fault lies with the employers who refuse to pay women what they pay men!
[8:38]  Carlo Sixpence: thanks, johnninnit
[8:38]  pjennings Offcourse: UNI has projects in 70 countries to build trade unions. The key for us is to train women trade unionists. Union leadership is still too male dominated. Even if the HR declaration mentions equal pay it is far from being achieved in practice

[UNI GS Philip Jennings presenting on Union Island]

[8:38]  pjennings Offcourse: Why ? companies abuse, absence of collective agreement, fear of reprisals, when a women compains about unfairness. government not applying the law correctly [8:38]  johninnit Ni: 2 answers for the price of one
[8:39]  johninnit Ni: okay – has anyone else got questions they’d like to ask, or points to make?
[8:39]  Carlo Sixpence: EUROCADRES has a project based on “Female leadership”
[8:40]  Gorgeous Thespian: yes please, is there anything Polish trade unions are doing to for example stop homophobia?
[8:40]  Zuzanna Strazytski: also, still women’s discrimination in the workplace is reflected by insufficient political representation. not very original to say but still important i hope
[8:40]  pjennings Offcourse: Yes. UNI fights discrimination in all its forms.
[8:41]  OwenT Turbo: On homophobia, the Polish union confederations recently signed up to an all-Europe condemnation of politicians in Eastern Europe (it’s not just Poland) stirring up homophobia.
[8:41]  Gorgeous Thespian: any particular actions?
[8:42]  Monarchy Republic: divide and rule in any language
[8:42]  OwenT Turbo: The Polish unions are also part of a general Europe-wide move for LGBT rights, and will hopefully be involved in the Workers Out celebration and conference next year in Denmark.
[8:42]  Carlo Sixpence: it should be supported the depenalization of homosexuality
[8:43]  Zuzanna Strazytski: in poland still religion plays a political role and thats why so many homophobic argument coming sadly from poland but this is not represenative for the society.
[8:43]  Monarchy Republic: Catholism :)
[8:44]  johninnit Ni: Well, We need to wrap this up for our guests
[8:44]  johninnit Ni: thanks for questions.  though if anyone has a final point to make we still have time
[8:44]  Gorgeous Thespian: so does in Spain, but funny enough homophobia as raised as a result of gay marriage laws
[8:44]  OwenT Turbo: Sadly, no particular faith has a monopoly on homophobia.
[8:45]  Carlo Sixpence: Owen is right
[8:45]  Monarchy Republic: but keep faith in Human Rights in all spheres:)
[8:48]  junivers Stockholm: THX a lot Johninnit and UNI representers
[8:48]  Amandeep Timeless: thaks
[8:48]  Hazel Finney: thanx guys x
[8:48]  Amandeep Timeless: *n
[8:48]  OwenT Turbo: Bye!
[8:48]  Carlo Sixpence: thanks for organizing this event
[8:48]  Carlo Sixpence: bye
[8:48]  Zuzanna Strazytski: :)
[8:49]  Monarchy Republic: thank you everyone …good luck..have fun:)

]]> 2
The Big Rights Debate – Union Island, Monday 15 Dec Fri, 12 Dec 2008 15:01:52 +0000 Johninnit Ni Discuss globalisation, human rights and labour rights with Philip Jennings (UNI Global Union GS), Zuzanna Gorska (Solidarnosc) and Owen Tudor (TUC).

Union Island is taking part in a huge, six day Second Life Human Rights Festival, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Some of Second Life’s leading musicians are coming together with human rights activists and organisations to stage dozens of special events, raising awareness, forming international links and having fun.

We’ve got our own special event on Union Island on 15 December at 8am SLT (4pm GMT, 5pm CET), when we’re delighted we’ll be discussing labour rights and human rights, with Philip Jennings, the General Secretary of UNI Global Union (the Switzerland-based global union federation for business services, representing over 20 million union members all around the world), Zuzanna Gorska, socio-political issues expert for Solidarnosc (The famous Polish union federation, Solidarity), Owen Tudor, Head of International Relations from the TUC (UK national union federation) and other unionists from countries all over the world.

From the adverse effects of globalisation to state repression of basic freedoms that many take for granted, there are a whole raft of issues where strong international action by unions and grassroots groups can make a real difference. Come and hear from our distinguished panel, have your own say on the issues, and meet our vibrant international user community.

For more information on the virtual world of Second Life and how to access it (via a free software download), visit

And for more information on what trade unions are doing in Second Life, see

]]> 0
SLLU event at HRF tomorrow Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:37:03 +0000 Johninnit Ni Union Island users will no doubt be interested in loads of the events planned for HRF – the Second Life Human Rights Festival that starts tomorrow, and you can find more information at

If you’re around, you might like to go to an event organised by SLLU (Second Life Left Unity) at their Unity Station headquarters. Exhibitions, discussion and a live gig from Russell Eponym should make for an interesting time. 2pm SLT (10pm GMT, 11pm CET) Wednesday 10 December.

]]> 0
The festival starts tomorrow! Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:25:04 +0000 Unionisland Republic The 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Universal Rights is being celebrated by a huge festival in Second Life, stating tomorrow, 10 Dec. More than 60 concerts over 6 days mark the 60 years and the talents of 100 artists and musicians are part of the celebration. More than 30 sims reflect the 30 articles of the UN Convention.

The festival is the first time a themed programme of events on this scale in Second Life has aimed at raising real life issues. It draws on the talents of artists, musicians and campaigners from many different countries including Argentina, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Some of SL’s best known musicians and artists are contributing to the festival, and there will be be talks, poetry slams and stand up comedy.

The UN Convention sets out the universal rights of all humanity, so the festival has a strong celebratory air. However as well as a celebration, the festival is also designed to raise rights that are breached – the right to free speech, a fair trial, shelter, rights of women and children to be free from violence etc.

The opening of the Festival will feature a live interview from Paris with Draxtor Despres, who has just been awarded a Every Human has Rights Award (congratulations, Draxtor!) for his machinima on the Guantanemo Bay build Gone Gitmo – Angel’s Nest at 8am SLT (4pm GMT) on 10 December. Then a concert by Jaynine Scarborough will launch the full programme of music with 12 concerts in the festival (including 3 at the Amnesty International sim) and other events around SL.

Organiser Any1 Gynoid said: ” We have an awesome array of SL’s finest talents backing the festival. Everyone says yes, they want to stand up for human rights. This is going to be a festival to remember! Woot!”Medora Chevalier, also from the organising team, said: “There is a new mood of optimism spreading around the world. We no longer need to be divided. We can act and campaign together, as humans caring about humans, sharing solutions, making change happen. The connections made in this world make ripples spread across the world to strengthen human rights.”

You can pick up the Festival Travel HUD (a clever wearable menu to navigate you through the various venues) from posters on display at Union Island or at Angel’s Nest, or many other supporting venues.

]]> 0
Homo Sapiens V2.0 Mon, 20 Oct 2008 08:39:25 +0000 Johninnit Ni The Rings

“The Rings: Homo Sapiens V2.0″ is a virtual protest-rock-opera, currently being staged in Second Life. I went to check it out on Friday, and left suitably impressed by the huge amount of work that has obviously gone into this project. Musicians, builders and performers from all over the world have come together under the banner of the Cybernetic Art Research Project (C.A.R.P) for this exploration of some of our world’s most pressing social issues: poverty, homelessness, war and environmental degredation, through a series of spectacularly illustrated musical tableaux.

The idea is that faced with multiple crises, the cultural exchange of the metaverse (the international network open to all) represents a possible way to come together to develop shared solutions. As Junivers Stockholm, composer and director, says: “For a long time I have believed in the potential of the Metaverse to connect people in new and powerful ways: to take humanity to a future of cooperation instead of competition. Music has the power to draw people in to work on the answers to the major questions of our time.”

Go see for yourself if you can. The rapid scene and costume changes hammered my modest NVIDIA 8500GT and wireless connection down to the minimum graphics settings, but it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience nonetheless. You can catch it on Fridays and Sundays at 2pm SLT (10pm GMT or 11pm CET). After Sunday performances there will also be discussion circles available on some of the issues raised, with campaign groups active in Second Life.

The Rings is staged at Artspace Diabolus, NMC Labs. SLURL: Labs/110/109/663/

]]> 0
LabourStart Labour Photo of the Year 2008 Fri, 10 Oct 2008 14:48:26 +0000 Johninnit Ni LabourStart photos

The first ever LabourStart Labour Photo of the Year contest is open for voting. The judging panel have whittled down the many entries into just 5 contenders. Come check out the finalists in Reception on Union Island, where you can cast a vote for your favourite.

The winner and a selection of other entries will be coming back to Union Island later this year, as part of a larger photo exhibition in our Gallery, so keep an eye out for that – there were some fantastic entries this year, that really deserve a wider showing.

]]> 0
Get introduced to Union Island Wed, 08 Oct 2008 08:34:52 +0000 Unionisland Republic We’re starting a series of introduction sessions on Union Island, to help show people what the project is and explain why we’re doing it, and what you can do on the island. The first sessions will be in English, running on the second Wednesday of every month at 1pm GMT (5am SLT), but we hope to be able to broaden this out soon into French, Italian and maybe Spanish if there is demand. Let us know what you think! First session today – feel free to drop in any time between 1pm and 2pm GMT to catch Island admins in their natural habitat.

]]> 0
WDDW on Union Island – UNI Global Union Wed, 08 Oct 2008 08:16:40 +0000 Johninnit Ni WDDW

Some pics just back from the developer :) of the UNI mobilisation for World Day for Decent Work.

UNI spokesavatar Uniglobalunion Oh led a group of activists from all over the world (I counted France, Mongolia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, USA, Canada & UK) on a little tour of SL, stopping off at Reuters Island, Nova Albion Infohub, and Aloft Non-Profit Commons, to spread the word about WDDW. It was great fun to tag along with them, and a good way to mark the day.

Getting ready to tp from Union Island:


Getting a news-fix on Reuters Island:



Hanging out at Nova Albion:



Back on Union Island for a well deserved drink:





It had all been a bit too much for some avies: ;)


You can find more pics and videos of what UNI staff get up to when they think nobody’s filming on UNI Global Union’s site.

]]> 0
WDDW on Union Island – War On Want Tue, 07 Oct 2008 15:05:34 +0000 Johninnit Ni Dave Tucker

Transcript of a discussion on unions and NGOs campaigning for Decent Work as a route out of poverty, Dave Tucker (DaveWoW Muggins), Campaigner for War On Want.

[5:10]  johninnit Ni: Welcome to Dave Tucker from War On Want
[5:10]  Wotcher Tenk: Hi Dave
[5:10]  Vaughan Vantelli: hi Dave
[5:10]  johninnit Ni: the anti-poverty campaign NGO
[5:10]  DaveWoW Muggins: hi everyone
[5:11]  Erdenesaikhan Eel: Hi bro Dave
[5:11]  johninnit Ni: again a first time SL user
[5:11]  DaveWoW Muggins: i’m here for half hour to answer anything you like to ask…
[5:11]  IM: UNIglobalunion Oh: ok cool thank!
[5:12]  johninnit Ni: so if I can kick off!
[5:12]  johninnit Ni: today is a day for unions linking up on Decent Work issues, but also for reaching out
[5:12]  johninnit Ni: to the other organisations that are working on issues of Decent Work
[5:12]  Wotcher Tenk: Tell me, how does WoW see its link with WDDW ?
[5:13]  johninnit Ni: d’oh – Wotcher beat me to the question! I should be more direct…
[5:13]  Wotcher Tenk: ;)
[5:13]  DaveWoW Muggins: well we come out of the union movement anyway, so one of our main concerns is working conditions and workers rights. we’re one of the few NGOs in the UK to work directly with unions I think, so this is an important agenda for us. especially as it goes beyond core standards and into a more holistic way of looking at the role of work, which is key if we want to tackle poverty.
[5:15]  DaveWoW Muggins: but you’d be amazed how little this seems to be linked up in official thinking
[5:15]  johninnit Ni: War On Want are traditionally not one of the quieter NGOs
[5:15]  DaveWoW Muggins: yep!
[5:15]  johninnit Ni: you’re pretty forthright in your campaigns. I was interested to see your China campaign on your site, aiming to work with workers in China – which is an interesting situation for organised labour
[5:16]  Wotcher Tenk: Will you be pressing the ILO to measure decent work, relative to your own poverty indices? You could be a great help in giving the campaign some objectivity.
[5:17]  DaveWoW Muggins: well I’d have to say that our main focus is actually on the EU and specifically the elections next year.
[5:17]  DaveWoW Muggins: we’re trying to overturn the global europe trade strategy because we think that fundamentally it mitigates against decent work, especially work creation as well as standards
[5:18]  johninnit Ni: in what ways?
[5:18]  DaveWoW Muggins: well possibly this is a point of divergence with unions in Europe
[5:19]  DaveWoW Muggins: because we feel that – and have some research coming out in a month – free trade is destroying job in absolute terms

Dave Tucker

[5:19]  Vaughan Vantelli: has WoW ever taken its message into the classroom to promote campaigns eg sweatshops?
[5:19]  DaveWoW Muggins: as well as privileging companies in terms of where they can move their operations around etc
[5:20]  DaveWoW Muggins: which means that organising is more difficult, especially when there are pools of cheap ;’flexible’ labour
[5:20]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes we do go into classrooms. in fact we are developing a resource pack right now. it has been a bit ad hoc up to now as we have only one outreach person who deals with unis and online (facebook etc) and festivals..
[5:21]  DaveWoW Muggins: hopefully it will be on our website in a couple of months, but we always have speakers available if that’s of interest – best thing to do is join our online community and then you get updates and can ask questions etc
[5:21]  Vaughan Vantelli: i’d be interested in that Dave… Uni Lecturer here…cheers for the advice
[5:21]  DaveWoW Muggins: excellent!
[5:22]  DaveWoW Muggins: did I answer the WDDW question?
[5:22]  Wotcher Tenk: Sure did. Thanks for that.
[5:22]  johninnit Ni: So where you mentioned friction with unions in Europe. how do you mean?
[5:23]  DaveWoW Muggins: the ETUC position is that ‘free trade’ agreements can create jobs and give advantage to EU workers, but that they must include social and environmental clauses to ensure decent work is created, not poor quality
[5:24]  Vaughan Vantelli: isn’t itthe old addage that some unions gain from these agreements and others lose? self interest inhibit ssolidarity
[5:24]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes but what’s intersting is that rights are being undermined in europe too
[5:24]  DaveWoW Muggins: look at the ECJ casaes in the last year
[5:25]  Vaughan Vantelli: for sure…eastern europe poses a big challenge to western EU
[5:25]  DaveWoW Muggins: the key is that actually the same neo-liberal agenda is working against workers in the interests of capital. so solidarity is essential
[5:25]  Vaughan Vantelli: agreed…short termism prevails too often though
[5:26]  DaveWoW Muggins: its a challenge but surely we want all the workers to get fair treatment, not be played off against each other
[5:26]  DaveWoW Muggins: if we see them as taking our jobs etc, then we fall into the trap set by business
[5:26]  DaveWoW Muggins: rah!
[5:26]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes agreed, but I think decent work is a useful concept in this debate
[5:26]  Vaughan Vantelli: definately but Full Time Officers dont always think that way…we need stronger membership aware of these issues and influencing bargaining agendas
[5:27]  DaveWoW Muggins: agreed. all campaiging starts with education and awareness raising
[5:27]  DaveWoW Muggins: the unions have enormous and progressive memkbership so if we can link up effectively we have a huge opportunity
[5:27]  You: how do you see NGOs like yourselves and unions working together? War On Want are a very fast moving organisation, whilst unions move more slowly (democratically, but slowly)
[5:27]  DaveWoW Muggins: especially in the current climate favourable to legislation
[5:28]  DaveWoW Muggins: partly its about getting actions around the union members. so we currently have a postcard and an online action on our website (in the next week)
[5:28]  DaveWoW Muggins: partly its about pressure on union-sponsored MPs and MEPs, and fundamentally making the case that people and rights matter, not just rights for companies to make profit

Dave Tucker

[5:29]  Vaughan Vantelli: draft motions are always useful for members to put to branch meetings
[5:29]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes I am working on that too, i know the deadlines are near
[5:29]  DaveWoW Muggins: if anyone wants to put something forward themselves, please do and let me know
[5:29]  DaveWoW Muggins: also branches can affiliate to War on Want
[5:30]  johninnit Ni: do many do that?
[5:30]  DaveWoW Muggins: I’d have to check but I think its certainly dozens
[5:31]  Vaughan Vantelli: I know a number of UNISON branches do and I think they are affiliated nationally
[5:31]  Vaughan Vantelli: my union the EIS is too
[5:31]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes. sorry not quite up on that, but you can ask our union officer Jackie Simpkins
[5:35]  johninnit Ni: we have a few mins left before Dave is off to RL events
[5:35]  johninnit Ni: are there any more questions people would like to throw in?
[5:36]  johninnit Ni: Dave – what do you think of the potential for WDDW itself?
[5:36]  johninnit Ni: is there value in continuing this idea of reaching out for unions? it’s raising a fair bit of awareness around the world
[5:37]  johninnit Ni: sometimes in strange ways! in Bulgaria they’re driving with their full beam headlights on to mark the day!
[5:37]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes definitely. if we have a global problem we need a global response
[5:37]  DaveWoW Muggins: that goes back to what we were saying about not allowing ‘divide and conquer’
[5:37]  johninnit Ni: so there is a natural link you feel between poverty campaigners and unions – because of the principle of solidarity
[5:38]  DaveWoW Muggins: yes. we are progressive forces I’d like to think
[5:38]  DaveWoW Muggins: and although we work in different ways, we are both fundamentally about dignity and rights
[5:38]  DaveWoW Muggins: that’s got to be worth something!
[5:39]  johninnit Ni: Thanks Dave
[5:39]  johninnit Ni: that’s a very good note to end on
[5:39]  johninnit Ni: :)
[5:39]  Vaughan Vantelli: cheers Dave….
[5:39]  DaveWoW Muggins: thanks everyone
[5:39]  Erdenesaikhan Eel: Thank you Dave
[5:39]  Wotcher Tenk: Tah
[5:39]  johninnit Ni: I hope this is somethign that can grow year on year, to make more of the global links to deal with the global problem.

]]> 0