I’m really hoping this catches on because it provides local support and empowerment for the unemployed while simultaneously strengthening their political voice on the national level. Started in late January of this year as a community service project of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Union of Unemployed provides the unemployed and underemployed worker a way to collectively pressure Washington for much-needed jobs creation. Nicknamed “UCubed” after its method of organizing by zip code and neighborhood, the new union is growing quickly through its unique web-based, grass-roots platform, Through UCubed, members can connect with others who are unemployed in their area, provide services and support for each other, and spearhead legislative action in DC on critical jobs issues.
As of February 24, four weeks after its inception, UCubed has signed up 800 members or “Job Activists” in 48 states.
From the Union for the Unemployed website:
With over 31 million Americans idled to some degree by this Grave Recession – and no relief in sight — the IAM and its partners saw a need to unify the unemployed in a unique and useful way.
UCubed does exactly that. It brings people together – the unemployed and underemployed alike – to build a community of Jobs Activists who will create local networks, support one another and help get America back to work.
Jobs Activists, organized by their zip codes, advocate for sound public policy, emailing public officials to alert them about policies that directly impact the jobless. And to help ease the burden of being unemployed, they receive steep discounts and rebate dollars when shopping the Machinists Mall.
Job Activists come from all walks of life, all corners of this country and all sectors of our economy. This Grave Recession has harmed us all – salary and hourly, manufacturing and construction, finance and service, union and non-union, college educated and high school dropouts, inner city and suburban residents. And only by working together can we end this economic turmoil.