In a year defined by economic and civil unrest, it should come as little surprise that workplace organizing has been on the upswing. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular (coupled with the ever-present effects of late capitalism) has brought long-standing questions of employment stability and safety to the forefront of many.
Of course, much of this dates to well before the pandemic was in full swing. In February, we noted that both scooter startup Spin and food delivery service Instacart voted to unionize. That same month, Kickstarter became one of the most prominent tech companies to form a union, with online code collaboration tool Glitch following suit in March.
Work place organizing is a broad and expansive topic in the world of technology. It’s a concept that is beginning to take hold in a diverse array of workplaces, ranging from contractors and factory workers at places like Amazon to salaried office jobs.
Tech workers unionize
The subject was a no-brainer for this year’s TC Sessions: Justice on March 3, and we’ve pulled together some great speakers to discuss their experiences, while giving some guidance to those interested in potentially organizing at their own workplaces.
Clarissa Redwine is a fellow at NYU’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. A former senior design and technology outreach lead at Kickstarter, she now hosts Kickstarter Union Oral History, a series of interviews with union organizers. Grace Reckers is the lead Northeastern union organizer for the OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union). Parul Koul, who joined Google as a software engineer in 2019, is the executive chair of the Alphabet Workers.