Pittsburgh is a town built on industry, with a rich history of successful businesses and worker power. We come together as FOCUS, Freelancers Organized for Change, Unity, and Strength, to add our voices to the conversation of what work looks like in the present day. As freelancers, we’re independent, driven, and creative entrepreneurs, adding value to every project we work on. We’re part of a new economy, moving away from traditional employer-employee relationships. With FOCUS, we come together to make sure that the new economy works just as well for us as it does for tech capital.
WH Digital is a creative and technical agency dedicated to providing organizations with the best deliverables and service. Whether it’s standing up a new app or creating content for your next marketing campaign, we leverage the region's best talent to solve your problem quickly and with ease. We are committed to building a responsible and equitable gig economy that allows our region's freelance community to organize and prosper.
The United Steelworkers (USW) is North America’s largest industrial union. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the USW represents a wide variety of workers in almost every employment sector. Over the past five years, USW has spearheaded organizing professional employees in and around Pittsburgh, including university faculty and graduate student employees, library workers, museum workers, mental-healthcare professionals, and tech employees. In 2019, workers at HCL, a contractor for Google, organized with USW and are currently bargaining their first contract--a contract that will be one of the first collective-bargaining agreements to cover workers in tech.
The success of the HCL campaign highlighted both the need for tech workers to have a voice on the job and the growth of the tech in Pittsburgh. These two factors led USW to begin the Federation of Tech Workers (FTW), an organizing project with the goal of helping tech workers take collective action to improve their working conditions. Since its founding in 2019, FTW has engaged in conversations with freelancers and independent contractors, hosted trainings about workers’ rights and collective action, and researched tech employers in southwestern Pennsylvania.