Opinion on Unions in the bitcoin Mining Industry
Recently in the news, a Pennsylvania Bill, the “Cryptocurrency Energy Conservation Act”, was stripped of language that would have created a 2 year moratorium on bitcoin mining. The author of the bill, Rep. Greg Vitalli, cited staunch resistance to the moratorium stating “the strong opposition to sweeping changes to the state’s environmental laws is being pushed by trade labor unions.” Aside from the misguided and outdated attack on bitcoin’s energy use, this begets the discussion; is there value to bitcoin Miners employing union labor at U.S. mining facilities?
There are over 14.3 million union workers in the United States. One recent study showed that nationwide,
unions have 29.1 billion in assets on hand. Unions participate in local, state, and federal elections and have secured major victories in recent contract negotiations. Their mission is simple: wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Overview of Unions
Some Bitcoiners are vehemently anti-union. Simultaneously, a foundational tenet found amongst them is that the fiat system is rigged against everyday, working people. These beliefs are somewhat at odds with each other. The mission of a union is to protect the wage laborer from the inherent incentive model of an employer, which is profits.
As unions have grown, they have become bigger, wealthier, and more politically savvy. The sandbox in which they play is on behalf of the worker, but sometimes the lines can become blurred. It’s like the movie Donnie Brasco. The main character went undercover into the mafia to fight crime, but towards the end of the film, as he is in too deep, his wife tells him “Ya know, you are becoming just like them,” to which he responds, “I ain’t becoming like one of them, I AM THEM.”
Arguments Against Miners Using Union Labor
1. Increased Costs Amidst Slim Margins
2. The Miner is the Primary Worker
3. Union Politics
An Argument For Miners Using Union Labor
1. Unions Protect Union Jobs: Staying in Business
2. Potential to Reduce or supplement government advocacy budgets.
3. Coalition Building
As to the pros and cons of a bitcoin Mining Company employing unionized labor, it likely varies miner to miner. As the world barrels towards the next wave of commercialized machinery, i.e. Ai and Bots, there will be a windows where unions continue to gain tremendous strength and influence in society. For the bitcoin Miner, this may be a force warranting a strategic alignment.
### News source: bitcoinmagazine.com