Here is an interesting summary of some ways the unions are tapping facebook to give voice to labor. I also like the idea of a widget for gripes.
Link: Unions using Facebook | Planting Liberally.
First is Change to Win's Facebook app, Smack the CEO. Written by CtW online communications director Jason Lefkowitz, Smack the CEO is a fairly straightforward game that allows you to compare your salary to that of prominent union-busting CEOs. When you sign up, the app asks for your salary. After signing up, you're asked to invite friends to join you in the game. As you recruit more friends to the application, their salaries add up; hopefully, after recruiting about a bazillion friends, your combined salaries add up to the CEO's. For disclosure's sake - I've worked with Jason a bit on fine-tuning the instructions and help text for this application, so I have a bit of a stake in its success (although not a monetary one). Although at first I was a little put off by the way it asks for your salary up front, more and more I think it's appropriate. The most popular Facebook applications are really, really simple - they basically involve ornamenting your profile, playing a game, or dressing up the traditional Facebook wall/poke mechanism. This application falls into the game genre squarely, and still it manages to a) educate Facebook users about the wage gap, and b) give users some idea of what union organizing is actually about - adding up enough of your friends to take on powerful people. That's pretty impressive, considering the fairly rigid formula for success as a Facebook application.
Incidentally, Jason and I have discussed using Facebook for more elaborate quasi-organizing. I'd really like to see something like that take shape. For example, I'd love to see a some kind of widget which allows coworkers to gripe about work online, perhaps with some anonymization to prevent recriminations at work. Or I'd love to see a "sign a union card" Facebook application, perhaps similar to Younionize but with the advantage of higher exposure. I've suggested similar kinds of approaches to online union organizing before, but I think it would take a fairly sophisticated online community builder to make it work, since my hunch is that most people are generally very cautious about openly discussing work gripes online.
The second example of unions using Facebook recently was this clever guerrilla event which takes advantage of Facebook's new Pages feature. The idea is to support the WGA strike by signing up as a fan of one of the shows which is currently on strike; I chose The Office. Once the friend request is approved, you can pursue all kinds of mayhem, light writing comments on the show's wall, or changing your user photo to some graphic which indicates your support of the writers. Of course, the idea is to embarrass the networks and encourage them to negotiate in good faith already. This is a pretty simple idea, but I think it could have some potential.