Trade unions were founded to secure the rights and dignity of workers in the face of employers who viewed these things as optional.
When workers wish to form a union they should be supported in doing so.
It was deeply disappointing to learn that Kickstarter is opposed to the formation of a union by its workforce. Credible allegations that staff have been fired for union organising are concerning.
As with many small games companies I looked forward to running a series of successful kickstarters as a means of growing Amazing Tales. In my mental business plan ‘successful kickstarters’ has now been replaced with ‘successful crowdfunding campaigns’.
As it happens when the news broke I was far down the line of preparing Amazing Tales’ first Kickstarter, which will go ahead as planned. But I, like the other entrepreneurs I know, will be spending the coming months looking into alternative platforms, because in the long term I don’t want to be supporting a company that doesn’t respect its workers.
And having been both a manager within a multi-million euro organisation responsible for dealing with the workers’ council, and a member of a workers’ council dealing with management I can confidently say that Kickstarter have nothing to worry about. Union recognition would be a long term win for their company, even if it were to mean confronting some unpleasant truths about their current practices in the short term. Trade Unions help create fairer, more equitable workplaces, improve the quality of decision making at every level within a firm and improve the society they are part of. They should be welcomed, not feared.
Of course it would be remiss not to acknowledgethat Amazing Tales advertises on Facebook and sells books via Amazon, both deeply problematic companies. In a world dominated by defacto monopolies you can’t always get what you want. But you can push for change, and exercise choice where you can. Amazing Tales supports the workers of Kickstarter United in doing so.
You can follow Kickstarter United on Twitter, here.
Martin Lloyd, founder, Amazing Tales.