Happy May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day!
We choose to launch the LaborDAO crowdfund on International Workers’ Day because we recognize that the labor struggle has always transcended borders, and we honor that tradition and affirm that building worker power is always a transnational effort.
Join us in building LaborDAO, and be a contributor to the first DAO project to fund workers who want to organize unions and strike for power.
We’re working with artist Billy Buntin to drop a series of LaborDAO NFTs that will serve as identification and help us airdrop to early contributors and supporters once the DAO is up and running. All contributors will receive access to the LaborDAO’s private Discord chat channel that will be launched later in May.
Our crowdfund will start on Sunday, May 1st (May Day) at 3pm EST/ 7PM Thursday, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
It will end June 1, Wednesday at 9pm EST/ 1AM (UTC).
We are launching a Mirror Crowdfund campaign in order to allow the LaborDAO community to take part in funding the LaborDAO Treasury as is common practice in Web3 projects.
About our Mirror Crowdfund
We have heard from our community members – and know from our own experience –that the topic of worker organizing is a sensitive one that requires care and precision.
For those reasons we are building with intention and at the speed of trust.
As organizers, artists, activists, researchers, developers, labor lawyers and more, we understand the challenges of fundraising through traditional financing methods. We are fundraising in a decentralized manner because we are driven to support the everyday people who are most affected by labor issues.
For that reason we are building the first decentralized community to support workers who want to strike and organize independent unions!
The Top 3 Crowdfund contributors will receive one of three NFTs from Billy Buntin. His artwork has been designed to honor three groups of workers who have been severely impacted and organized through the pandemic.
Reward Tiers Top contributors will receive:
Please note: In order to receive your credit on the website, you must join our Discord server to receive directions about how to link your name to your contribution address.
All NFT Holders will be featured on TheLaborDAO.com name as the "LaborDAO Supporter. Please note: In order to receive your credit on the website, you must join our Discord server to receive directions about how to link your name to your contribution address.
Holders will be able to participate in governance and vote to approve changes to the DAO. Our governance structure has yet to be decided and will be determined at a later point with community input and guidance.
Supporters of this crowdfund receive $Solidarity token according to their contribution tier. We will experiment with using NFTs and/or non-financial tokens for on chain voting. The $Solidarity token will be provided to anyone who purchases an NFT.
All proceeds distributed to the LaborDAO’s budget will go directly towards the cost of building LaborDAO and fulfilling its mission. In terms of how we will use those tokens in the future, we have heard from members of our very new community and core team that financializing LaborDAO governance tokens would create a number of technical and organizational issues.
Recently a concern was raised that LaborDAO users will be incentivized to sell their tokens rather than remaining a part of our community.
To solve this and other issues we will research solutions and you can read more about our intentions around tokenomics and governance / voting in the “Research and Education” section of this document.
Your contribution does not provide you with control or ownership of LaborDAO but we will be distributing governance tokens to early supporters partially based on participation in this crowdfund.
All Mirror crowdfund supporters will receive an airdrop of tokens equivalent to the amount they contribute to crowdfund.
$SOLIDARITY tokens should only be used to access the private Discord chat. We discourage the resale or speculation of this token.
The LaborDAO team has the right to return funds if we believe the patron’s values are misaligned with the project.
LaborDAO as an Influence on the Future of Web3
We understand that everything we do must be community driven and with an eye towards intentional growth. Simultaneously, a DAO, like any organization, must have a plan to be financially solvent. One of the key areas of pushback I get when mentioning labor in the context of Web3 is concerns about volatility, speculation and aspects of marketization. We are looking to balance those concerns with the real need to create a sustainable method of funding our Treasury and our Solidarity Fund.
LaborDAO is developing small scale experiments based on interests we’ve heard from our community and Web3 folks. We will act as an incubator for new systems that radically improve labor’s ability to build solidarity across borders. We’re bridging the gap between workers and the Web3 world by building an economically sound and self-sustaining protocol that provides a safety net for workers. Perhaps most interesting to those who work in the crypto world, we are exploring ideas for a protocol that will improve labor practices within DAOs. We’re interested in experimenting with technology created by Kleros such as UBI, Proof of Humanity and dispute resolution in our efforts to help workers.
Our plan for the LaborDAO development goals include:
Supporting A New Powerful Emerging Labor Movement
Recently the world has seen a surge of high profile union organizing by workers at many corporations and organizations including Starbucks, Amazon, Kellogg’s, Apple, John Deere, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace to name a few.
In order for this burgeoning independent labor movement to be successful in the long term it will need financial stability. This is because most unions are funded by worker dues and existing union treasuries. Since these workers are starting new- and sometimes independent - unions, they do not have a huge financial backing to build their unions.
The LaborDAO has been created with the explicit goal of funding worker movements to create independent unions.
Part of the process of “progressively decentralizing” means creating a governance, proposal and voting structure and putting the power to decide the direction of LaborDAO in the hands of its members. LaborDAO will be managed by the “LaborDAO Core Team” and controlled by contributors via a delegate voting system.
Initially the LaborDAO will be responsible for:
Solidarity Fund to support worker power: Strikes and independent union organizing
On the first official LaborDAO Twitter Space we heard from our special guest Seth Goldstein, - OPEIU labor attorney and Labor lawyer for Amazon Labor Union - that workers who want to organize are severely underfunded in their efforts.
Over the past few months we have been building a community of workers, activists, artists, labor lawyers, engineers and more across the globe who will join our DAO and start working collaboratively with other members.
Our goal is to consistently fund labor struggles by workers who want to organize their workplace around the globe. To do so, we’ll need you to become a community member and contribute whatever skills you have to support workers.
Together we hope our DAO will reshape how workers finance their organizing and strike efforts. Meanwhile we have been building relationships with Independent Labor Unions and people in the Web3 community as we plan out our governance structure.
Research and Education for workers about Web3
Our MirrorDAO crowdfund will also help us to begin to build a body of research on best practices for voting and development to ensure that our governance structure is fair and that our platform is safe from exploitation from would-be bad actors.
Possible research and education projects we intend to carry out include:
Create educational content for workers and others new to Web3:
A note from the NFT Artist
Workers and labor are central to a thriving economy and society. Unions continue to be one of the best tools for worker and political organization. I love the LaborDAO’'s vision; supporting and innovating labor power in this new web3 age.
My experiences in Congress and in the corporate media were eye opening. I realized that rather than relying on these institutions we need to organize ourselves politically, and develop new methods for quality information sharing.
I’m a self-taught visual effects artist & animator, with a passion for philosophy and good conversation. After four years as a Capitol Hill Staffer, I got a Masters degree in International Relations and Ethics, and started my animation company, BBDigital, in 2010.
Billy immigrated from Guadeloupe at the age of 5, and was raised in Brooklyn, NY. Billy studied Ethics and Internationalism at American University when he moved to Washington D.C. in 2004 and ended up working for a member of Congress and becoming a producer at CNN. Those experiences awakened him to Grassroots Activism and the Arts.
About LaborDAO Core Team
Larry Williams Jr
Larry Williams Jr. Is founder of UnionBase.org, the first secure social networking and education platform for unions and union workers. UnionBase has been covered in Forbes, Fast Company, Lean Startup, Salon and many labor publications around the globe for their efforts to support workers. Prior to founding UnionBase, Mr. Williams led organizing campaigns in the Teamster Organizing Department and served as Labor Coordinator for Sierra Club, the largest environmental non-profit in the United States. Mr. Williams is also co-founder and former President of Progressive Workers Union (PWU). PWU is a powerful Washington, D.C. based union for non-profit representing employees at Greenpeace, 350.org, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club and more.
Full-stack developer, with 2 years using Solidity and over a year using Typescript React. Prior to working in Web3 he had 3 years of experience in the UK working as a Software Developer in the Gambling Industry, building back office applications using Go, .NET Framework and SQL. Focused on agile environments, building on top of big infrastructures, and building start ups from the ground up.
Yonathan received a B.S in computer engineering in 2013 while attending Old Dominion University. After graduation he worked at a small consulting firm to build and maintain both a web-application and I-pad integration to do onsite security assessment for numerous fortune 500 companies. NASA's climate simulation department recruited Yonathan to rebuild their customer facing website from the ground up.
Danielle Twiss (she/her) is a researcher with an interest in the intersections of labor and tech, a recent graduate of Oxford University with a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Charlie is a student at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He is passionate about leveraging technology to bolster the labor movement. He is interested in fundraising, governance, and organizing trends.
Special thanks to our new community supporters and the following counselors who have guided us in invaluable ways over the last few months:
UnionBase as initial supporter of LaborDAO
Founded in 2015, UnionBase is a tech firm that leverages web development, publishing and subscription based educational content on behalf of workers unions, union leaders, and worker organizations. UnionBase has been the initial supporter for the DAO but will maintain no control over LaborDAO and will only offer support as requested by the community.
You can see more about UnionBase and their mission here.
Example: Starbucks Workers, Amazon Workers, Apple Workers