Unite the Union

Unite the Union

September 21, 2007 11:10 ET


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2007) - Unite, the UK's biggest union, is backing the 'virtual' strike by IBM employees in Italy which will take place on the IBM premises in Second Life (a 3-D virtual world) next week.

The 9,000 workers employed by IBM in Italy are asking the nearly 9 million residents of Second Life to join the virtual strike resulting from a pay benefit worth EUR 1000 a year being withdrawn in response to a modest pay claim by the RSU union.

IBM has spent $10m dollars on establishing its Second Life presence.

According to Unite, the proposed virtual strike is already having an impact as a pay issue in Italy and is now receiving worldwide coverage. Trade unions from 16 countries are now involved including India.

Peter Skyte, Unite National Officer with responsibility for the IT industry, said:

"This is an imaginative new initiative. We are keen to see how it develops as a new way of dealing with a traditional issue.

"Whilst the IBM strike on Second Life represents a virtual activity, it is already producing positive results in the real world by drawing attention to the pay issue in IBM, Italy.

"This has the effect of breaking down isolated employees working for multinational corporations and strengthens international communication between unions and the IBM workforce worldwide.

"We will be monitoring closely the impact with a view to developing further similar activities and actions amongst IT companies in the UK."

Contact Information

  • Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315