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The Freelancers Union

Okay, so you’re sitting at home day after day writing code or press releases, designing logos, or maybe running several social media sites at once for a variety of clients. You are in command and master of your own destiny, for sure – but heavy lies the crown when you’re all alone.

In New Bedford, the co-working facility Groundwork! came along to help relieve you of your burden with a bright wonderful space full of bright wonderful people.

But we’d never stop there – and haven’t. In addition to the scores of workshops, socials and special events Groundwork! has offered to members and often the public over the last year, we also feel a deep sense of going above and beyond with connecting you with all sorts of information you may find of use keeping yourself a going concern.

The Freelancers Union falls into that category. It’s another tool to put into your gig economy toolbox and have handy should it be needed.

The Freelancers Union calls New York home but is isn’t a Local; it’s nation-wide – and offers some real benefits – for free!

Here’s some background, from At Freelancers Union, we strive to make freelancing better now and in the future through joint benefits, live member events, expert guides, and online networking opportunities.

Freelancers Union gives independent workers a powerful voice through political action, research, and thought leadership. We aim to ensure that independent contractors receive adequate rights, protections and professional benefits.”

One of the ways that Freelancers Union is ensuring that is a reality is by leading a campaign to pass local, municipal legislation for Freelancers – a Freelancing Isn’t Free Act for every city and town.

It just scored an important victory. It passed in New York City! You can read all about it in this New York Times story, which states, “The bill represents one of the earliest policy efforts to grapple directly with the growth in the so-called gig economy — a term that typically refers to the likes of temporary workers, contract workers, independent contractors and freelance workers.”

Now, it’s New Bedford’s turn.

Groundwork! Has reached out to New Bedford City Councilor-At-Large Ian Abreu, also Manager of Business Development & Public Policy at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, and asked him if he’d be interested in introducing a local version of the act here. He replied, “Absolutely! This is very progressive and I am happy to bring this issue to light.”

What should a local version of the Freelancing Isn’t Free Act contain? That’s up to us – and to help us reach some decisions, Groundwork! Has invited Abreu and area freelancers to a lunch-time discussion around the topic on Thursday, Dec. 1. You can RSVP here.

So, read up on the Freelance Isn’t Free Act via the links in this story and think about what would be helpful to you as a Freelancer on a local level. Then join us at noon on Thurs. Dec 1 – and remember: if the gig economy gets you down, don’t give it up. Groundwork! Is here to help.

Steven Froias