Employees at Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding website, have voted to form a labor union, becoming the first white-collar employees in the tech industry to do so. The union consists of a collection of accountants, content directors and software designers who sought better pay and working conditions from their employer. While the first of its kind, the Kickstarter union may be a sign of things to come in the tech industry.
Kickstarter is one of the world’s largest “crowdfunding” sites, created for the purpose of allowing creators of niche products to potentially attract funding for projects they might not have gotten financed through more conventional means. Over the years, Kickstarter has been used as a platform for funding all manner of projects, including films, toys, consumer electronics, books, comics, video games, and more. However, Kickstarter is a business, not a charity, and it requires a dedicated staff to operate and maintain the site.
The effort to unionize started after an intervention by Kickstarter management into a comic book project entitled “Always Punch Nazis,” which was taken down in response to negative press coverage alleging that Kickstarter was promoting political violence. The decision to take down the comic incensed employees, supposedly contributing to their choice to seek to unionize. Among its demands for better pay, more inclusive hiring, and better opportunities for advancement, the union also seeks for greater employee input into product development, in hopes of avoiding similar situations where public outcry determines the products they choose to support.
If you are looking into unionizing, or you already have a union and are in a dispute with your employer, give the Law Offices of Steven Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of labor and employment law. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steven Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.