Trabaju, men and women working

12 Jan

A damaging and painful secret

(and women too)

It all began with frustration: I was looking for information on workplaces, wages and conditions and I spent several days searching the web but I have not found what I was looking for.

Wages, benefits, works conditions, workplaces information is not available, not accessible or extremely difficult to find.

Or how a friend of mine put it:

“In our information driven society the labour market information is a well kept secret.”

Information rules

There is nearly a complete vacuum of real, actionable information that workers, either alone or organized, and organizations can use.

It is possible to make a revolution in the labour market. It is needed, and would be good for the workers, and for the economy in general:

“Without the large market that a robust middle class provides, innovative companies don’t have buyers for their products, and without a competitive labor market and increasing wages, they don’t have much incentive to innovate on the production side, either.”

Tim Fernholz, GOOD Business editor

Our biggest, more important market completely lacks of accessible information.
Internet gave us access to billions of information and data, and showed us who has the wisdom and the power to act: the crowd.


  1. because everyone is a worker (or will be, or has been, or should be)
  2. because every worker has a very small, private part of the information, and can share it
  3. because these small private chunchs of information, alltogether, can bring the change we need

It is time to step into the labour market and to change it, and for the better.

In an way similar to how Wikipedia changed forever our approach to (enciclopedic) knowledge, there should be the same with labour market, to make labour market “work” better, to give power to those who have less, to show reality, to recognize the employers that are good and make them better, …

This is the idea of Trabaju (means “work” in Sardinian).

Issues -> solutions

Labour market is extremely complex, there are cultural barriers, there are privacy issues, there are legal problems. So how can we do?

All the people we talk to are bringing new energy and helping us move forward the idea, here are some of their suggestions:

  1. find very smart folks that have already faced similar challenges (and are still facing them): folks in Wikimedia Foundation, LinkedIn, Ushahidi, …
  2. hire very good lawyers
  3. it is business, but work for its social mission
  4. … ask for more help
So here we are, ready to tap into every human being willing to give us suggestions, expertise, or encouragement:
what do you think of the idea?
how can we move forward?

Idea inspired by:

Tim Fernholz - Why Fixing the Wealth Gap...
The incredible community of Crisismappers
Wikimedia Foundation

[Antonio, Francesco, Giorgio]

The context of the project:

One Response to “Trabaju, men and women working”

  1. fabio moretti January 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea! In turn I’ll share my thoughts.

    The Employer controls the Employee, drives most of their choices and ambitions and affects so many aspects of their lives. This power is only partially and inadequately balanced by the trade unions. Among other factors, that control relies also on the limited access that workers themselves (or people wishing to be so) have to the work-related information. Should they have full access, they would probably be stronger and more effective in negotiating for better conditions. At least because they would be awarer of their own rights. Hence, as I told you last time we met, it doesn’t surprise me that you found it hard to get certain information: it has a huge economic value (in a broad sense), and nobody is willing to share it. But you :)
    – Yes, it would be a sort of revolution
    – Yes, lawyers are needed (and bodyguards, maybe, ghghgh)

    The data that the “Trabaju project” is supposed to gather is something the potential uses of which may not be fully clear and understood (at least to me) at this early stage. Some may be ethical, some may not, I think. Don’t you think this issue should be explored since the beginning of the project? Maybe possible misuses, both during and after the implementation of the project, should be anticipated and possibly prevented. Or maybe what I’m saying makes no sense, as a wiki-structure automatically gives everybody free access to everything…
    As a first stage, if I understood what you told me, I imagine Trabaju as a platform where people share personal work-related information. We can call this “raw data”.
    A next stage I imagine is, then, the analysis of that raw data. This would bring added value. Especially if you define criteria and indicators to measure and map the “degree of satisfaction” of workers (on a subjective basis) and the “quality” of their condition (on an objective basis). Based on such higher-level information you might even be able to propose some new economic model…
    Well, so far that’s all I had to say, which is more or less what I had already told you.
    I admire your brain and ideas. Go ahead. Ciao

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