Pit Schultz on Tue, 30 Jun 1998 23:08:38 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> New Labour Movement


Top New Media Group Joins Working Today Network

(New York, NY) -- The World Wide Web Artists Consortium has announced that it
is joining the Working Today Network *), giving WWWAC members access to
discounted rates on health insurance and other services of interest to people
who work on their own. Both groups are collaborating to improve each other's
capacity to provide independent workers with the tools they need to prosper.

"In an industry as young and competitive as new media, almost everyone takes
risks with their careers, but there's no reason they should take the same risks
with their health and finances," says WWWAC President and co-founder Kyle
Shannon. "We are excited about WWWAC's new partnership with Working Today.
Their mission is particularly relevant to new media because independents
contribute so much to our community and industry." Besides group-rated health
insurance, WWWAC members will now be eligible for office supply, travel, and
computer discounts, as well as free legal and financial advice through Working

"Relatively few people who work in new media are in standard nine to five
jobs," says Sara Horowitz, executive director of Working Today. "Few of them
are pining for the old working arrangements, but they also know how difficult
it is to sacrifice pensions and benefits for some flexibility."

Working Today is also promoting immediate solutions to the problems of the
growing number of independents, who now account for 30% of the country's
workforce, according to the Economic Policy Institute. For example, Working
Today is creating a portable insurance fund for New York's new media industry
that would be supported through contributions from employers, independents, and
employees. By administering the fund through a central nonprofit agency,
Horowitz hopes to control risk and shave the costs that have produced such
exorbitant insurance rates. Once the fund is up and running, Horowitz thinks it
could serve as a model for providing affordable insurance that independents can
carry with them from job to job.

The World Wide Web Artists Consortium was created in New York in 1994 as a
global organization dedicated to encouraging education, collaboration and
entrepreneurship in the individuals who make up its passionate membership. As
new media has blossomed into a growth industry in New York, WWWAC has become an
important source of advice and encouragement for online artists and
entrepreneurs who want to develop their skills. WWWAC interacts with New York's
new media community through monthly meetings, special interest groups (SIGs)
and an e-mail discussion list of thousands of subscribers. For more information
about WWWAC, visit http://wwwac.org.

Working Today, founded in 1995, advocates on behalf of the freelancers,
independent contractors, entrepreneurs, temps, and contingent workers that make
up the independent workforce. Working Today intends to link organizations like
WWWAC, whose members are familiar with the problems facing independent workers.
Working Today's goal is to build a nationwide constituency around the
development of portable insurance plans, updated labor laws and an end to the
double Social Security tax on independents. The Working Today Network currently
encompasses fifteen organizations and 60,000 individuals and is growing fast.

*) Working Today is a national nonprofit membership organization that promotes
the interests of people who work independently -- a diverse group that now
makes up nearly 30% of the American laborforce. Our members are freelancers,
independent contractors, temps, part-timers, contingent workers, and people
working from home.


[ digital artisans united? at the one hand it is very good to see that
certain utopian dreams well known at here are in fact describing a
'reality' as long they try to formulate a common demand. at the other
hand it's the question where exactly those dreams fail and where their
success becomes critical. where are the limits and fault lines? where
are the pros and points to join in? can anyone report from the inside
of this new labour movement? i must say find the 'promotion language'
quite problematic, target group: 'independents', product: 'portable
insurance fund' /p]
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