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Organized labor is looking for new turf-your dotcom.

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Netpreneurs, listen up. Well-publicized union movements at siteslike may seem far away, but they have ahost of implications for smaller Web businesses. Bill Schurgin,labor and employment partner with law firm Seyfarth Shaw, explains dotcom unionefforts this way: "Unions are a business. The product unionssell is representation. The traditional markets [for] unions areshrinking. Like any good business, unions are looking for newmarkets to sell their products, and one of the fastest-growing istechnology-based companies."

The workers trying to unionize aren't programmers, analystsor IT professionals, but rather nonsalaried customer service,warehouse and distribution employees. At both consumer electronicssite Etown (where unionization attempts were underway before thesite shut down in February) and Amazon, the focus has been oncustomer service specialists. Drivers and warehouse workers atInternet grocer Webvan have also been targets.

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