Kickstarter Staff Form Union, a First for Major Tech Startup



In a historic vote, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has become the first major tech company to successfully form a union, with a narrow vote of 46 workers in favour and 37 against.

The idea to unionize was sparked in 2018 after a Kickstarter campaign for a satirical comic book titled "Always Punch Nazis" attracted the attention of Breitbart news, Slate reports. While the company has been nominally supportive of an employee vote for unionization, leadership said in no uncertain terms that a union was not "the right tool" to fix Kickstarter's issues in a FAQ published a year ago. Kickstarter's corporate side pushed back against the union, however, and required a vote, rather than voluntarily recognizing the unit. This is the first time that full-time white-collar employees of a large technology company have been unionized that way. The OPEIU will now work with Kickstarter United to bargain with Kickstarter management for a contract.

In a statement provided to Mashable, Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan offered a bit of support for the unionization effort. The company has become the first tech firm in the United States to fully unionise. "We've worked hard over the last decade to build a different kind of company, one that measures its success by how well it achieves its mission: helping to bring creative projects to life. Workers are organising around our values to build a stronger future", Clarissa Redwine, a Kickstarter organiser who was sacked in September, told Gizmodo. "Our mission has been common ground for everyone here during this process, and it will continue to guide us as we enter this new phase together".

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"Everyone was crying when the results were announced", said Redwine. In a Tuesday statement celebrating the vote OPEIU said that the issues that led Kickstarter employees to unionize "are identical to the issues resonating with professionals throughout the unorganized tech industry".

"I thought it would be close, but I also knew we were going to win". "Throughout this process, Kickstarter's leadership has supported the staff's right to decide if a union would benefit them - working with union organizers to lay the groundwork for a fair election, move the process along quickly, and give all of our eligible staff members the space to make this choice for themselves", the company said in a statement to CBS News.

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