“Challenging Tech: organizing, resistance & alternatives”, discussion series.

 In Events, Past events

PLUS partner Valentin Niebler, form Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  was involved in the organization of  a discussion series, titled “Challenging tech – organizing, resistance & alternatives”. It is focused around the collective action of tech workers, coalitions with gig workers and the possible role of cooperatives.


First event in the series:

#1 Challenging Tech: International Perspectives on Organizing – May 1st, 6pm GMT/ 7pm CEST 

May 1st, 19.00 CEST with Raksha Muthukumar of the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) at Google and Sören Lieske, an organizer for IG Metall  in the Berlin tech sector. The event was hosted together with Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung in Germany.

In recent years, tech worker organizing has become prominent, most recently through the foundation of the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) at Google. This new kind of labor movement has led to new types of activism and political demands in the tech sector, which for decades has remained largely unorganized.

What can workers, movements and unions learn from these developments on a transnational level? Together with a representative of the AWU and an organizer for the German union IG Metall , the event aims to bring the recent developments at Google in the United States in discussion with recent organizing efforts of tech workers in Germany. The event will also look at the legacy of white collar organizing in both countries and more broadly.

Raksha Muthukumar is a software engineer at Google in New York and spokesperson for Alphabet Workers Union (AWU). Sören Lieske is an organizer for IG Metall in the Berlin tech sector.

For more information and a link to the video conference (Zoom) please visit:




Second event in the series:

#2 Coalitions between Tech and Gig Workers: Antagonists, Accomplices, Comrades? – May 18th, 6pm GMT/ 7pm CEST 

A decade after the dispersion of ‘gig work’ companies around the world, many of their workers have organized protests, strikes and legal action. More recently, employed tech workers have also organized together. This development raises questions about possible coalitions between both groups, who are often working for the same company under very different conditions.

However, several issues might complicate a common struggle. The dissolution of a common workplace, but also class positions, race or gender might present hurdles. Are coalitions between both groups possible, and under what conditions can they succeed? We will discuss these issues in gig and tech work in the field of urban mobility.

Abdurzak Hadi is a driver for Uber and representative of the ADCU in London, a union of ride-hailing and delivery drivers. Yonatan Miller is a software engineer and organizer with the Tech Workers Coalition Berlin.

For more information and a link to the video conference (Zoom) please visit:




Third event in the series:

#3 Perspectives beyond Collective Action: The emancipatory potential of platform cooperatives in cities – tba

Big Tech is challenged not only by its workers, but also by politics and the emergence of alternatives. Platform cooperatives, non-profit platforms and progressive governments around the world aim for alternative forms of work and consumption. Especially cities participate in this challenge of big tech, in light of its massive impact on the organization of work and life in urban settings.

Together with a local politician, a coop developer and a coop member, we look into the political room for manoeuvre in the platform economy and the potential and problems of alternative organizational forms. We discuss how governments and alternative organizations can work together towards an emancipatory application of new technologies.

Markus Anderson Michaelis is part of the cooperative Khora, a food delivery platform in Berlin. Vincent Bachelet is an open innovation advocate in Paris, who designed the technical backend of Khora: CoopCycle. Katalin Gennburg is member of the Berlin-state parliament for the German left party and promotes a (smart) city for all.

For more detailed information about this activities, please contact with Valentin Niebler.

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