Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


A 2017 Management Report editorial features words of warning for US employers from Alfred T. DeMaria, the publication’s editor and a lawyer specialized in ‘combating union organizational campaigns.’ Knowing ‘how employees can use new media tools, including social media and dedicated apps, to interact among themselves and with union organizers is absolutely necessary,’ DeMaria cautions, moving on to point out exactly what is at stake: ‘Employers who ignore this potential stealth activity risk their union free status.’1

DeMaria’s concern might seem excessive given that the rise of digital technologies in the workplace has occurred alongside a decline in union density across developed countries since the 1980s. Moreover, as ‘platform capitalism’2” gathers strength, it appears well-poised to deliver the latest severe blow to unions. What could DeMaria possibly be worried about in an economy where jobs are sliced into ever-smaller fractal segments, workers are governed remotely by code, and bosses are both distancing themselves from their employees and sealing workers off from each other by technological design?

Added February 4, 2020