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Basic Income Advocates Around the World
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by Basic Income Advocates Around the World category: Cause
What would you do with a monthly salary, separate and in addition to any other salary, but earned as a right of citizenship and sufficient for you to meet your most basic
needs for life? That's basic income, and that's what Basic Income Day is about in recognition of 21st century realities.
Also popularly known as May Day, Labour Day, and International Workers' Day, May 1st has long been a day to internationally recognize the contributions of the global labor movement and its many struggles and achievements over the years. However, where unions once increasingly empowered workers and gave us all the 40-hour week and the 8-hour day, globalization and advances in technology are severely eroding the ability of unions to effect change.
As automation of the workplace continues to the tune of potentially eliminating half of all current jobs by 2033, and in addition eroding any sense of financial security or consumer buying power through the growth of part-time jobs, low-paid work, temp labor, gig labor, freelancing, and zero-hour contracts, unconditional basic income represents the ability to empower all workers, on an individual basis. A newly gained ability for everyone to say "No" to any and all employers would have an undeniable effect on individual bargaining power. That means greater sharing of profits, higher wages for low demand work, shorter workweeks, improved working conditions, more flexibility, etc. It can even function as a strike fund large enough to support national general strikes the likes of which we've never seen.
The achievement of basic income would be the achievement of a new voluntary contract on more equal footing between employer and employee, including the empowerment of the employee to become their own employer by UBI's functioning as venture capital for entrepreneurs and effective demand for customers. It would mean a solid floor to stand on instead of a safety net full of holes to fall through or be trapped in. It would mean a new age of greater equality, productivity, and innovation, where all are finally free to pursue the goals they wish to pursue, and all work would be recognized for its societal value, instead of only paid work as it stands now. Isn't it time we started recognizing all the important labor going unpaid, of which there is so much?
Andy Stern, former President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) believes basic income is the future of the labor movement, and the policy we must all together now strive for in the 21st century. And he's also not alone. Unite the Union, UNISON, GMB, TUC, and more, these are unions with millions of members who are now fighting for UBI. It's an idea whose time has come.
So what can you do?
There are many ways to support the idea and to help grow the movement for Basic Income. For one, take part in Basic Income Day by supporting this Thunderclap and by changing your profile photos and sharing basic income content across all social media networks on May 1st. Last year we reached over 1 million people with our Thunderclap. This year, let's reach for over 5 million!
If you are part of a union, commit to bringing the idea of basic income to an endorsement vote in your local chapter.
Whether you are part of a union or not, commit to bringing the idea of basic income to an endorsement vote in your city council.
What else can you do any day of the year?
Basic Income Advocates Around the World
We are the basic income movement, members of humankind all over the world who believe Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) is the most important policy we can and must achieve everywhere in the 21st century. Without it, we all face growing inequality, shrinking middle classes, increasing insecurity, rising fear, and societal breakdown. With it, a better world is possible, one built on a strong foundation of true economic security. What will you do with YOUR basic income?