Kickstarter workers vote to unionize
Kickstarter today announced that its staff has decided to unionize. The move reflects a broader movement for worker representation among tech employees. The site joins a growing list of companies whose staff and/or contractors have expressed public interest in unionizing, including Spin, Instacart and Pittsburgh-based Google technical workers, along with media outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox.
The decision, which was approved through a 46 to 37 vote, comes on the heels of pushback from Kickstarter leadership. As noted in a piece published by Vice late last year, CEO Aziz Hassan called employees’ push to unionize “inherently adversarial” in a letter to staff, adding:
That dynamic doesn’t reflect who we are as a company, how we interact, how we make decisions, or where we need to go. We believe that in many ways it would set us back, and that the us vs. them binary already has.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch this morning, however, the executive appears to have had a change of heart.
“We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that got us here,” Hassan writes. “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. 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.”
As part of the National Labor Relations Board vote, Kickstarter United will now be recognized by management of the Brooklyn-based crowdfunding giant. This marks the first time a major tech company’s full-time, white-collar employees have unionized in such a manner.