Bloggers Push for Union

August 6, 2007 ( - A band of bloggers is pushing to form a labor union its members hope will get them health insurance, collective bargaining power and a set of professional standards, the Associated Press reported.

class=”ap-story-p”> The bloggers, held together only by the expansive tendrils of the Web, see a labor union as a way to give credence to their trade as writers. According to the AP, such an effort is reminiscent of early labor organization of freelance writers in the early 1980s.

class=”ap-story-p”> Exactly what kind of organization to form is not clear. According to the AP report, some are asking for a freestanding association for activist-only bloggers, while some want a union open to all. Others want to use it as a catapult to gain professionalism.

class=”ap-story-p”> Still some fear a union would restrain an otherwise freewheeling practice. “The reason I like blogging is that it’s very anarchistic. I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and oh my God, you’re not going to tell me what to do,” Curt Hopkins, the founder of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, told the AP.

class=”ap-story-p”> However, Susie Madrak, author of Suburban Guerilla blog and an active backer of the union campaign, told the AP that a labor union will help bloggers pay for benefits for work that can take as much time and energy as a full-time job.

class=”ap-story-p”> “Blogging is very intense – physically, mentally,” she told the wire service. “You’re constantly scanning for news. You’re constantly trying to come up with information that you think will mobilize your readers. In the meantime, you’re sitting at a computer and your arm and neck and shoulder are wearing out because you’re constantly using a mouse.”