Hi James,

just to understand correctly: are you talking only about the legal concept
of a 'union' or also about all informal structures where the wmf staff
could somehow influence how things go? I mean for example, I could imagine
that in an organisation with more than 100 people, a representation of
sorts outside the usual hierarchy might be imaginable and potentially
beneficial. That representation could possibly be to the board, to the
C-team or otherwise. Or are such structures already in existance (have been
in existance)?

Lodewijk

On Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 9:51 PM, James Alexander <jameso...@gmail.com> wrote:

> A traditional union is also difficult, honestly, because of the nature of
> the WMF as an incredibly global organization. We are a huge mix of staff in
> SF from the US, staff in SF on Visas (I don't know if this matters), Full
> Time Equivalent contractors outside the US (and numerous different ways to
> do that os that it's better for the staff member such as being a 'vender'
> of a sole company etc), temporary contractors and more. I am not perfect at
> Labour law but I'm fairly certainly not all of those can actually unionize
> together officially and so no matter what we do a huge portion of the force
> would be outside of a union and not get the legal protections that
> provides. There are other options I imagine, and people are looking into
> it, but sadly unionization laws weren't really written with the idea of us
> in mind.
>
> Now that said I'm not 100% sure a union would really be the most beneficial
> thing for the org. I'm just not sure they would be able to fix many of our
> issues while at the same time probably adding some of their own. They can
> be hugely beneficial when used in the right place but I'm not sure this is
> one of those (they also take a long time to set up and so would not really
> help for the specific, current, issues). Of course as a manager I don't
> have a vote (and won't be protected) anyway if we go down that route so my
> opinion is mostly academic.
>
> James
> User:Jamesofur
> [Manager, Trust & Safety, WMF]
>
> On Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 11:47 AM, Gerard Meijssen <
> gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > That would not be a bad idea in and of itself. However, the kind of
> > troubles are not necessarily the kind where a Union has its experience.
> > Thanks,
> >      GerardM
> >
> > On 5 March 2016 at 20:45, Gordon Joly <gordon.j...@pobox.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On 05/03/16 16:49, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> > > > Arguably, the employees have a bigger stake in the Wikimedia
> > Foundation,
> > > > they are not even represented.
> > >
> > >
> > > Then they should unionise?
> > >
> > > Gordo
> > >
> > >
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