Kickstarter Votes to Unionize, Becomes First Tech Company to Form Union
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Brooklyn-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter helped give birth to card games like Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens, and now it’s given birth to the first labor union in the tech industry. NBC News reports that Kickstarter has unionized, after an 18-month fight during which at least five Kickstarter employees were either first or forced to resign for attempting to organize.
— Kickstarter United (@ksr_united) February 18, 2020
“Workers want to be able to participate in critical product decisions without retaliation, 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,” fired Kickstarter employee Clarissa Redwine tells NBC News.
I'm happy to say that I know some of the folks involved with making the comic anthology, Always Punch Nazis, that lit the fuse that led to this. I wasn't able to back the first volume, but I happily backed and contributed a pin-up to volume 2. https://t.co/EJtObKnVxy
— Spives75 (@spives75) February 18, 2020
As Ars Technica reminds us, the unionization fight at Kickstarter goes back to a 2018 skirmish over a crowdfunding campaign for a comic book called Always Punch Nazis, which Kickstarter canceled amidst pressure from Breitbart that made the company’s management back down.
In a ballot count today, we learned that our staff voted 46 to 37 in favor of a union. Kickstarter’s leadership supports and respects their decision. We’re proud of our staff and of the fair and democratic process that got us here.
— Kickstarter (@kickstarter) February 18, 2020
Company management is singing a different song today. “We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that got us here,” Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan told NBC News, obviously not being sincere. But the move could have big ramifications across Silicon Valley, as employees at Google, Facebook, and GitHub are fighting back against their employers’ alliance with ICE and the Trump campaign.