Kickstarter Workers First in Tech Industry to Unionize - Geek.com
Following an 18-month battle with the company's management, Kickstarter United will now be formally recognized by officials.
"What Kickstarter employees are organizing a union for is the agency to challenge management when management is failing the community," Clarissa Redwine, one of three union organizers, told NBC News.
Redwine and Taylor Moore were fired in September.
At least two other workers who helped organize the drive felt pressured to resign after what they described as a "tense and, at times, intimidating environment," according to NBC.
"Workers want to be able to participate in critical product decisions without retaliation," Redwine said. "To change how the company handles sexual harassment, how it addresses gender discrimination, and they want to take on future challenges with a healthy power structure."
A committee of union members will meet with Kickstarter leadership to negotiate a contract to address concerns-including equitable pay, hiring diversity, and having a voice in company decisions.
Kickstarter United is organizing with the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153, NBC reported.
"We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that got us here," Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan said in a statement.
Despite unrest and pushback at tech firms like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, this marks the first time employees have officially formed a union.
Hostilities started growing in August 2018, when Kickstarter approved a fundraiser for the comic book "Always Punch Nazis." Conservative news site Breitbart accused the platform of violating its own rule banning projects that encourage violence.
And while employees who reviewed the book decided it complied with Kickstarter's terms of service, management disagreed and pulled the project. The administration eventually reversed its decision and restored the comic. But it was too late: Staff had already grown concerned their bosses were "giving in to demands from far-right trolls," as NBC said.
Kickstarter United went public with its organizing drive in March 2019. Nearly a year later, the union has been ratified.
Technology companies, according to NBC, have historically been slow to unionize, in part because of a perhaps erroneous industry-wide reputation for being progressive.More on Geek.com:
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