Published: Thu, February 20, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Kickstarter is first major tech firm to unionise

Kickstarter is first major tech firm to unionise

From Amazon workers slamming their employer's climate change policy to mass walkouts at Google in protest of the company's handling of sexual harassment, the tech workforce has become more and more vocal in recent years.

"... The project may be satire, it may not be satire, I don't think it matters". Many of us were.

Kickstarter denied that it discouraged unionization.

The newly formed union, Kickstarter United, will send its committee to negotiate with the company's leaders not only about equitable pay, but also, "diversity in hiring and gaining a say in company decisions about how the platform is moderated".

"The tech sector represents a new frontier for union organizing, and OPEIU is excited to represent one of the first tech groups to successfully win collective bargaining rights and to be part of the labor movement's efforts to improve the livelihoods of tech employees everywhere", OPEIU president Richard Lanigan said in the statement. For Kickstarter, conflict arose a year ago with the well-publicized firings of two union organizers and other perceived resistance by the company.

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Members of a Taliban delegation leaving after peace talks with Afghan senior politicians in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019. US officials suggest an initial drawdown from 12,000 to 8,600 troops within weeks or months.

Kickstarter has denied that its terminations were retaliatory. The vote, with 46 in favor and 37 against, came nearly a year after the company's employees announced their plans to unionize.

Redwine and Taylor Moore were fired in September.

Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan tells The Verge that he doesn't see the vote "altering the mission or imaginative and prescient" of the corporate. In the same email, Hasan asserted that "the union framework is inherently adversarial", and that it would set the company back.

"We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that brought us here", writes Hassan.

"Every worker at a company makes it what it is - from your community outreach people, to your customer support people, to the people running your facilities", Dannel Jurado, a Kickstarter senior software engineer, wrote in a statement from OPEIU. "Management did a great job busting". Kickstarter is now a place for collective action through and through", Redwine said on Twitter after the vote was announced Tuesday, adding that "the vote was close. According to Kickstarter, their reinstatements are not guaranteed, as the National Labor Relations Board has yet to rule on their claims.

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