In July of 2017 we held a meeting to begin thinking about what constitutes labor in the tech industry, who “tech workers” are, and how we might think about organizing these workers.


  1. Trump’s Tech Opposition. Tech employees who increasingly see themselves as workers will be an important sector of resistance to Trump’s agenda.

  2. Programmers in India Have Created the Country’s First Tech-Sector Union. Responding to an Indian tech economy in flux, workers are demanding representation.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of work is done in the tech industry?

  2. What do blue collar and white collar workers have in common? What distinguishes them?

  3. What role does both white- and blue-collar contracting play in this?

  4. Why do socialists focus on workers?

  5. Why should we organize the tech industry specifically?

  6. What might a strike in the tech industry look like? What kinds of work, if stopped due to strike, would result in lost profits?

  7. Matt Schaefer lists some problems faced in the tech industry: “Ageism, unequal pay, discrimination, and data privacy concerns.” How might an organization of tech workers mitigate these problems?

  8. Kristen Sheets says that (white-collar) tech workers are, “Understanding that their conditions are actually those of a worker. They’re realizing that they have a specific relationship to production that’s extremely different than that of an entrepreneur or a CEO.” What’s a relationship to production and what is the distinction she’s making here?

  9. Kristen Sheets also mentions that tech workers, “Have a strategic position with regard to our place in production that we can leverage to stand in solidarity with other workers.“ What do you think she means?

  10. What do tech workers in India have in common with tech workers in the US?

  11. Michelle Chen writes: “With good jobs evaporating on both sides of the Pacific and the labor visa supply potentially dwindling, only organizing, not fighting each other for jobs, can stop the ‘race to the bottom’ on a global scale.” What’s the “race to the bottom” in this context? What enables that race between the US and India?

  12. On one hand, the elite owners of the tech industry (Zuckerberg, et al) want to expand the H-1B visa program through which many Indian and other immigrant workers get tech jobs in the US. On the other hand, Trump wants to reduce the program and “reshore” jobs in the US, a goal that is exacerbating the predictions of job losses in India as described in this report. Between a rock and a hard place, where should socialists stand on the issue of H-1B visas? (Hint: reject them both)