RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Thursday’s “strike” by avatars against IBM in Second Life sparked some serious criticism from a national union watchdog group.

The Center for Union Facts, which is based in New York, dismissed the action – and event “teleported” some of its own avatars to counter protest the event.

“The strike is absurd because it’s not a real strike if they are doing it on their own time and their own computers,” Tim Miller of the Center for Union Facts wrote The Skinny.

IBM workers were cautioned by their union and union supporters to not use IBM hardware or time just in case Big Blue reacted strongly to the strike.

“All in all, we must report being disappointed in the verve of the virtual strikers. Most just stood around typing platitudes,” Union Facts posted in a blog about the strike. “One
female character had rockets where breasts should be.”

Miller noted that “Second life gets attention for allowing unsavory digital behavior.”

In Second Life, avatars representing people “teleport” from one location to another. Union Facts decided to send some avatars of its own with a counter message.

“After we finished laughing at the absurdity of a 2nd life strike—we decided to check it out at IBM’s Second Life headquarters and give the picketers a little dose of,” the Union Facts blogger wrote.

“Wearing a shirt that read, ‘This strike sucks. Get back to work,’ on one side and the simple-but-elegant “” on the other, we were decked out in our finest.”