Wobbly is a communication app for precarious workers, to help them organise for power.
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Wobbly is a workplace organising platform, currently under development. We’re creating a space for energetic, powerful, and democratic unions to win struggles and grow.
Wobbly is being developed as free (as in freedom) software. We aim to make our organization as transparent as welcoming as possible, and we plan to incorporate as a platform co-operative so that the platform is collectively owned by those who work on it and use it.
Wobbly differs from other chat applications by building federated organisation in from the start. Every user enters the app by joining or creating a local node – what might be called a branch in traditional organising. They do this by searching for their workplace when they open the app for the first time. The nodes are named after their workplace, and can be geotagged to make them easier to find.
In each node there are three parts: First, encrypted communication that allows workers to talk to each other. Second, a way to put forward proposals and vote on them. Third, and this is the part that no one else is working on, a way to communicate with other nodes: Group-to-Group Communication.
If workers in nodes want to do things like make shared resolutions, strike together, or organise shared events, they can form a supernode. Then, using mandated recallable delegates (or some other democratic system) to communicate, the supernode can coordinate the local nodes that constitute it, and direct the shared resources towards their chosen ends.
Our plan is that multiple supernodes will be able to come together to make supernodes of their own - an ultranode. The relationship of a supernode to an ultranode is the same as the relationship between a local node and its supernode. It uses the same democratic system that links the local nodes and supernodes, this time with the supernodes selecting delegates to put forward mandates for the ultranode. Because the democratic systems are ultimately derived from the local nodes, the ultranode remains controlled by the workers themselves, minimising their reliance on a hierarchical union leadership to take struggles forward.
We are currently working on a beta version of the platform. Since our work is currently volunteer-based, our primary expenses are server costs.