Independence, individuality, freedom, solitude: just a couple of words that describe the freelance lifestyle. And solitude is a key word here: there is literal solitude, as freelancers are usually alone while performing their home office tasks; but there is also the figurative sense of the word, since freelancers are often on their own when facing certain unpleasant situations.
Not only freelance sites rarely aid them in resolving disputes, but they have to deal with the lack of proper guidance, health insurance and other benefits as well. This is why the Freelancers Union, a non-profit organization, decided to raise its voice for all independent workers based in the U.S. and help them in every imaginable way to improve their work conditions.
Building Solidarity With Freelancers Union
Freelancers Union is a non-profit organization founded by Sara Horowitz due to the growing concern among freelancers, who felt abandoned and neglected by an uncaring industry. Since its foundation the organization proved to be a worthy ally in fighting out additional benefits for independent workers, such as health and dental insurance, retirement plans, term life insurance, and disability income protection.
Through Freelancers Union members can find some of these benefits provided by such companies as Guardian, but you can also find other insurance opportunities in your region by simply entering your zip code on the site. Other than that, the site has a comprehensive knowledgebase with information on how to opt for a given benefit, how to fill out and file your taxes and even how to deal with clients. Although most perks are only available for U.S. residents, foreign freelancers can still learn a lot by visiting the blog and reading community posts.
Benefits are one thing, but there is another attractive side of Freelancers Union: its striving community. In the forum section, divided into so-called Hives, freelancers across the country can share their knowledge to help newcomers, but there are well-rounded discussions evaluating the worth of certain freelance sites such as Fiverr, too. Aside from that you can also find lengthy posts detailing the ins and outs of working independently, giving tips and advice to those who are confused.
In the Eyes of Freelancer Sites
Freelancers Union is highly regarded by several magazines like Fast Company and Esquire, not to mention it also received the ‘genius’ grant by the MacArthur Fellowship Program. Despite that, the non-profit organization couldn’t find allies among freelance websites. Although the exact reasons are unknown, it is most likely that such services don’t want to overprotect workers, since extra fees would scare away potential employers.
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