Unionizing mTurk

hyp3rdriv3

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Full disclosure: I'm only been a Turkker for about a month now, so I may be seeing things from the wrong angle.

I've noticed many people griping about issues with mTurk like website glitches, requestor glitches, mass denials, non-paid screeners (not the short ones, the bubble hell ones), master's system not working since day one, accounts getting wrongfully banned, lack of a support team, etc.

Does anyone think the unionization could resolve any of these issues, since Amazon doesn't seem to listen any of our griping?
 

TobyF

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Full disclosure: I'm only been a Turkker for about a month now, so I may be seeing things from the wrong angle.

I've noticed many people griping about issues with mTurk like website glitches, requestor glitches, mass denials, non-paid screeners (not the short ones, the bubble hell ones), master's system not working since day one, accounts getting wrongfully banned, lack of a support team, etc.

Does anyone think the unionization could resolve any of these issues, since Amazon doesn't seem to listen any of our griping?
Be a nice fat way for them to shutdown Turk asap . Most places will tell you to hit the door at the slightest hint of unionizing.
 

TobyF

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Which is highly illegal under Federal Law, but that's a different story.
I know it is. But it won't stop them. Corporations are gonna win man. No idea why this posted multiple times. Ugh. Sorry.
 

TobyF

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Which is highly illegal under Federal Law, but that's a different story.
I know it is. But it won't stop them. Corporations are gonna win man.
 

electrolyte

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Which is highly illegal under Federal Law, but that's a different story.
Sure, if we were employees. But we're not employees so we have zero federal or legal protections of any type.
 
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hyp3rdriv3

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I know it is. But it won't stop them. Corporations are gonna win man. No idea why this posted multiple times. Ugh. Sorry.
Corporations only win if the employees let them. Also, np about the multiple posts. Everyone has done that at least once in their life lol
 

TobyF

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Corporations only win if the employees let them. Also, np about the multiple posts. Everyone has done that at least once in their life lol
This is amazon though. Half the internet shut down when they had a outage.
 

electrolyte

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I thought we were considered contractors? If that is true, even contractors can organize under labor law if I am correct.
Did you sign a contract? I didn't. We're not considered anything, really. We aren't sent 1099s at the end of the year (with the exception of people who make over $20k/year through MTurk and receive forms from Amazon Payments documenting those transactions).

Edit: To clarify and elaborate, we're not contractors of MTurk or Amazon because they don't pay us. If anything, we're contractors of the requesters since the money and the work comes completely from them, not from Amazon.
 
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TobyF

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Did you sign a contract? I didn't. We're not considered anything, really. We aren't sent 1099s at the end of the year (with the exception of people who make over $20k/year through MTurk and receive forms from Amazon Payments documenting those transactions).

Edit: To clarify and elaborate, we're not contractors of MTurk or Amazon because they don't pay us. If anything, we're contractors of the requesters since the money and the work comes completely from them, not from Amazon.
I really didnt think of it that way. / shrug. I thought we were contractors of amazon. that makes this worse. ahhhhh.
 

Dutchy

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I feel as though unionizing and bringing that union to requesters instead of mturk/amazon, which is basically a wall of inpenetrable ghosts, would be the better choice. I'm in a union and I feel that it has given me not just stability but *credibility*. Become the people that mturk calls "Masters", organize, and show off how good we are.

That's when we start getting what we deserve.
 
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DCI

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Mturk is so much different than a traditional large business model that the idea of a worker's union just makes no sense.

A traditional union has bargaining power because it can inflict great expense on a business very quickly. If a group of factory workers goes on strike, the owners of that business are still stuck paying for all kinds of operating expenses while not producing anything. Even if those workers can be replaced, the replacement process itself requires time and labor as well as being limited by geography.

A union of mturk workers would have no bargaining power because it would have no ability to inflict expense on anyone. The pool of available workers is massive and the cost of transitioning from a particular worker or group of workers to another is nothing. Even very large strikes would usually go completely unnoticed if no one pointed out that they were happening.

While it's true that people can form groups with self imposed standards and build a reputation that has value, you can, and probably should, do that as an individual anyway. That's a lot different than unionization in both cases.