Every so often the idea of an IT worker's union or lobbyist group comes up, but it appears most people in the tech sector are opposed to the idea. Business partners Jack Edwards and James Smith understand, and say they have a solution: the International IT Worker's Group (IITW).
Edwards says he's been mulling the idea for years and drew on his experience as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) when deciding how not to structure the organization. InfoWorld's Betsy Harter writes, "[Edwards] remembers one particular day when he was managing a crew that was performing a time-sensitive electrical job. The project was quite complicated, and his crew fell behind.
"I have never been one to sit back and watch other people work, so I jumped in and helped complete the job," Edwards said. "An IBEW union rep told me that it was against the bylaws for me to be doing the work, so I quit the union."
The mission of the IITW is to help its members with many of the important challenges facing IT workers today, including legal guidance, acquisition of healthcare, financial assistance, and educational services.
The partners are currently looking at various funding options but are already accepting new members for no cost, though they plan to begin charging in early 2009. Professional IT associations are nothing new -- the AITP and the IEEE Computer Society have been doing something similar for years -- but anything that helps tech workers organize to fight outsourcing and 60-hour workweeks is a great idea in my book.