Engelberg Center Live!

Introducing an Oral History of the Kickstarter Union

Episode Summary

This September, the Engelberg Center brings you a ten part series chronicling the formation of the first tech company union in US history.

Episode Transcription

Across the US, tech workers are getting organized. We’re starting to learn from each other and fight for each other.  

If we're talking about these things, honestly together then like we can name. And we can identify them and we can fight for change.  - Karlee

I’m here, we’re here, you’re not alone in this, we’re all here with you. - Toy

But what does collective action look like in practice? What does it take to build worker power? I’ve asked dozens of my fellow organizers from Kickstarter United to create a birds eye view of the union drive through a chorus of our voices and perspectives.

Kickstarter, in and of itself is about collective action. Right. It's like the platform is about coming together to do something that someone couldn't do on their own. And you hired a bunch of people that think that's cool. And they unionized and you're surprised. - Amy

They were very interested in holding us accountable but not themselves. - John

I literally at one point, my jaw, literally, physically dropped it was though shocking the stuff that he was saying.  - Sarah

Forming a union signing this card feels risky sounds risky but it doesn't even compare to the risk and danger that we let ourselves be in If we work without protection if we let management have that power to constructively terminate or to fire us for no reason, with no recourse and nothing to show for it. Letting that situation stand working under those conditions. That's risky….  - Taylor

This September, workers are taking control of the narrative and sharing that really happened. I cannot wait to share the journey with you. We’re in this together. Solidarity forever.