Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize
After months of rumors and tension, the employees at the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter voted to form a union. It’s believed to be the first of its kind in the technology industry. Employees have been battling management over numerous conditions that lead to some calling for a boycott of the platform and general split in how non-employees should react.
Kickstarter United will be formally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.
The organizing took place over a year and a half and saw two leaders fired, two other workers leaving the company, and one other forced to resign. The company said it never fired anyone over union activity but that claim has been refuted.
The next step is for Kickstarter United to head to the bargaining table to negotiate a contract addressing the union’s concerns such as equitable pay, diversity in hiring, and a say in moderation of the platform.
The union will work with the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153.
The unionization was sparked in August 2018 over a comic book. Always Punch Nazis was accused by the right of violating Kickstarter’s terms of services and there was an internal struggle if the project was ok for the platform. Employees fought to keep the project saying it didn’t violate guidelines while management disagreed. The comic was initially blocked from the platform and then that decision was reversed.
Kickstarter United went public in March 2019 followed by management pushing back against the effort through email and meetings.