Cyberunions Podcast Episode 68 Can free trade be fair trade

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It’s freezing in Mexico City

  • No central heating makes 10C/53F feel cold in Mexico City
  • We make no promises but we will try to get back to a weekly show baring an activism we are involved in
  • Appeasing new listeners….we need to sing, but we will hold off to a drinking show
  • Stephen got a new netbook the Acer Aspire One D270 and ran into issues with the video drivers CrunchBang to the rescue
  • Walton uses the Asus EEEpc with lots of battery life and impressed
  • On the other side of the pond Walton is exhausted from hitting the wall of the internet
  • His hands and fingers are killing him, he might need a union 😉


  • The head of the Teachers union in Mexico was arrested….what does this mean for the folks outside of Mexico
  • Elba Esther Gordillo the leader of the Teachers union has inspired a move to make the teachers union independent.
  • She was formerly a leader of the PRI but sided with the PAN in 2000, but now the PRI is back in power and taking action against her for her lack of support.
  • She is horribly corrupt, makes Jimmy Hoffa look good.
  • The enemy of my enemy is my friend, well the PRI arresting her could be good for the independent movement, but Stephen still hates the PRI
  • This is not an attack on unions this is a political move
  • What is Fair Trade and why do we care?
  • Keeping condition standards, but making a market solution to a market problem
  • Now “With added human dignity” ~ labor becomes a commodity
  • There are problems with the FairTrade label but the idea is good
  • Fair Trade as a tool to organize workers, great example from South Africa
  • We need a new label a worker approved label not a FairTrade label
  • It’s a tool that can work in a good way but more often in a complacent way…we need to ask more of the consumer

Tech: How would fair trade standards be applicable to Tech workers

  • How do we establish a condition standard for work in the tech sector?
  • Question for the tech listeners that might be able to share ideas on how we could make sure the working conditions are healthy without a union
  • Tech workers are isolated and it is a challenge to determine what the conditions are
  • Firefox Web Developer tools is great when designing and developing sites…at first the features of Firebug were farther ahead but now it seems the Firefox built in tool is quite powerful
  • Thanking the Drupal Zen theme developers for good tech writing for the new web designer


  • Listener from Canada is looking to create a moble phone app to take survey’s outside of a grocery store as an example.
  • Stephen responded with news about the CiviCRM mobile interface as a possible solution.
  • We are working to fix the Podcast page as the older links are not in the new form, but for the moment check to the RSS feed for the older posts.
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Marxist. Socialist & labor movement organizer. Boston DSA Labor he/him
Bread & Roses Caucus in #DSA


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