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Kickstarter’s Staff Is Unionizing

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The staff of Kickstarter announced plans to unionize today. If recognized, Kickstarter would be the first major tech company with union representation in the United States. Members of the union, which goes by Kickstarter United, say they want to improve inclusivity and transparency at the company. To unionize, they’re working with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153. In a statement, the union said: “Kickstarter United is proud to start the process of unionizing to safeguard and enrich Kickstarter’s charter commitments to creativity, equity, and a positive impact on society. We trust in the democratic process and are confident that the leadership of Kickstarter stands with us in that effort. Kickstarter has always been a trailblazer, and this is a pivotal moment for tech. We want to set the standard for the entire industry. Now is the time. Come together. Unionize.”

In a world of Facebook and Twitter, Kickstarter feels almost quaint in its mission — “to help bring creative projects to life” — and in its charter as a public benefit corporation, which means that the company is “obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders.” Its staff unionizing means the company will also have to consider more seriously its responsibilities to its employees. It also means that its fellows in Silicon Valley and beyond could be next. Kickstarter is fundamentally a tech company, and its staff unionizing with the OPEIU shows a way forward for other employees in the space. Kickstarter’s staff is unionizing because they want to “promote our collective values: inclusion and solidarity, transparency and accountability; a seat at the table,” the organizers write, noting that in the decade that Kickstarter has been around, it’s democratized crowdfunding and brought more than 150,000 projects to life. “Kickstarter’s efforts are incomplete, and these values have failed to manifest in our workplace. We can do better together — for ourselves and our industry.”

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