Kickstarter employees vote to unionize

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Vonkara1 via Getty Images

More tech company workers are unionizing in an attempt to improve their bargaining power. A group of 85 Kickstarter employees have voted to unionize, aligning themselves with a branch of the Office and Professional Employees International Union in New York. The staffers will use their collective bargaining power to push for equal pay, more inclusive hiring, greater transparency from management and more of a say in decisions.

Kickstarter chief Aziz Hasan said his company would "support and respect" the decision, although there are signs that it might have opposed the move. The crowdfunding site's early stance was "disappointing," OPEIU said. Former employees have also accused Kickstarter of union-busting by firing people trying to organize unions, although the company has disputed those claims.

The unionization follows efforts at companies like Google and reflects increasing pressure on tech firms to allow labor organization. Workers are concerned that they don't have voices in company decisions, and that employers can use the threat of retaliation to prevent people from pushing for better working conditions. The Kickstarter effort is relatively small, but might set a precedent that leads others to organize.