It's time to organize

It's time to organize
Greg Wilson (
Content warning: layoffs; education

Greg Wilson, posting over on

There are roughly a spudillion more tutorials online about Kubernetes than there are readable explanations of tech workers’ labor rights. If tech workers invested one spudillionth of the time they put into learning the former into learning the latter, companies posting multi-billion dollar quarterly profits would think twice about performative layoffs.

I don’t think it’s that outlandish to suggest that a decent percentage of layoffs that are occurring in the tech sector right now have very little to do with companies on the brink of insolvency, and more to do with CEOs and boards wanting to demonstrate they hold some of the cards, and that employees should maybe think twice before asking for pay raises or improved benefits.

And as Greg says in his thread, they’re getting away with this because of a lack of awareness of just how many cards the employees themselves hold. As I’ve written before, it’s as simple as people not understanding the role of HR. Am I suggesting that we should all start refusing to meet with company leaders unless we have a union rep present? Or start electing shop stewards?

No. Although there would be no harm in more people considering union membership. What I’m starting to come around to though, is the idea that every conference that claims to be helping people become better technology professionals should have at least one session on their rights as employees, or just generally how to organize. We owe it to ourselves to be as interested in those rights as we are in the latest frameworks and languages.

Maybe if we did, we wouldn’t have people finding out they’ve been laid off when their badge stops working.