Interesting article by Anne Fisher on the Freelancers' Union
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Anne Fisher recently interviewed Sara Horowitz, the Founder and executive director of the Freelancers' Union. Here is an excerpt from the article.
What spurred you to start a union for freelancers?
In 2000, I started looking into the question of what would be the next form of unionism for this vast new-economy workforce of self-employed temporary workers. When I met with freelancers in the city to find out what their biggest concerns were, the No. 1 problem was the difficulty of getting health insurance, since there really is no place for them in the traditional insurance market. That was the beginning of my interest in starting a health-insurance co-op that could provide affordable coverage.
Do you envision the Freelancers Union ever having collective-bargaining power like an old-school union?
No, I don’t see that happening because freelancers work for so many different employers, in such a mind-boggling variety of different industries, that the old-style collective-bargaining model just wouldn’t be practical. What we do want to do, though, is to bring people together around shared concerns and try to find, or invent, solutions to the problems freelancers face. For instance, they don’t get unemployment insurance, so tough economic times are especially hard on them. We know that 12% of our members were on food stamps at some point in the past five years, because their work dried up and they had no unemployment insurance to fall back on. We would like to do something about that.
Read more: http://mycrains.crainsnewyork.com/blogs/executive-inbox/2012/05/a-voice-and-health-insurance-for-the-citys-freelancers/#ixzz1tw9YqmU0