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Kickstarter becomes one of the first major US tech companies to unionize

Employees vote in favor of joining the Office and Professional Employees International Union

The employees of crowdfunding platform Kickstarter have voted to unionize, officially joining the Local 153 chapter of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).

The final vote, according to Vice, was 46 for the union and 37 against. The employees will now join 100,000 other members of the OPEIU in a milestone for white-collar workers at a major US tech company.

Kickstarter employees have been moving toward unionization since March of last year, when they formed Kickstarter United to pursue improved inclusivity and transparency at the company.

Though the initial response from Kickstarter management was publicly positive, in September of last year, two former employees alleged they were fired from Kickstarter in a union-busting effort.

The employees, Clarissa Redwine and Taylor Moore, continued working with Kickstarter United following their termination. Today on Twitter, Redwine noted that it was possible for her and Moore to be reinstated following the union vote, depending on the union's eventual contract.

"Everyone was crying [when the results were announced]," Redwine said, speaking with Vice. "I thought it would be close, but I also knew we were going to win. I hope other tech workers feel emboldened and know that it's possible to fight for your workplace and your values. I know my former coworkers will use a seat at the table really well."

In its own announcement today, OPEIU said that it, with Kickstarter United, would focus on fighting for "transparency from management, guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, implementing more inclusive hiring practices and giving employees a voice in the decision-making process" and aims to negotiate a contract using an "inclusive and transparent process."

"We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that got us here," said Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan to Vice. "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."

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Rebekah Valentine avatar
Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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