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Nov 13, 2019 7:50 AM ET

Solidarity Onboarding An onboarding kit for organizing tech āœŠfrom one coworker to another šŸ¤organizers of Google, WeWork, Kickstarter & more. #RecognizeKSRU

Solidarity Onboarding An onboarding kit for organizing tech āœŠfrom one coworker to another šŸ¤organizers of Google, WeWork, Kickstarter & more. #RecognizeKSRU

iCrowd Newswire - Nov 13, 2019


Welcome To Organized Labor

Friends, coworkers, and organizers – together we’re creating an onboarding kit to unite employees in tech. This kit is passed between coworkers as an act of solidarity and a signal that there is room to organize at your company. Tech needs an employee-driven onboarding that strengthens bonds, makes support visible, and inoculates against the tired propaganda playbook companies use to stamp out collective efforts.

The Kit

Solidarity takes time and someone always takes the first step. This friendly collection of pro-labor mementos breaks the ice and gets folks talking about how we can work together to build a better workplace.

Sprout was the third project I ever backed on Kickstarter and I’m thrilled to include them in this kit. When you get down to the last inch of pencil, the seed capsule on the end can be planted! Feel united and connected to your team as you grow a culture of care. 

The Playbook

At the center of the kit is a welcome booklet filled with common anti-labor statements companies use to dissuade employees from organizing.

Tech activists, artists, and creators who helped organize Google, Facebook, WeWork, Kickstarter, and more have annotated this assemblage of statements, crafting a counter narrative directly over the words employed to keep us from uniting.

Together we’re creating an artifact shared between coworkers that helps call out the true aim of these classic anti-labor statements. Each page is a wealth of advice, guidance, wisdom, and inspiration.

The Propaganda & Refutation 

The booklet contains thirteen common anti-labor talking points distilled from real tech company statements. Below is a handful. You might recognize them.

No one is too privileged to exercise their labor rights. From Facebook Trust and Safety analysts, to Google contractors, to Lyft drivers, to Amazon engineers- every employee deserves a legal framework to challenge authority and hold companies accountable. Refusing to share power with employees only serves to concentrate power in the hands of a few individuals deciding how the world’s largest platforms will shape society.

The subtext here is, if you choose to create a second power structure that can successfully challenge management, you’re not a team player. This is suggested in bad faith since the company knows management will always overpower the voice of an individual. Keeping employees from forming a collective is inherently adversarial.

This is a direct quote from Amazon.  Tech companies have stated that a union contract is too rigid for the business practices of today and that adopting a union framework will make the company less competitive. Employees negotiating a contract don’t want to hurt the company they are fighting to secure and improve. Workers generally do not advocate for contracts that will interfere with the company’s ability to compete. Companies must learn to be innovative without the crutch of workforce exploitation.

Digital Version & Adding Your Voice

In addition to a free PDF of the printer version of the booklet, we’re building a simple site to house the growing contributions.  This site is where we’ll add doodles, comments, and other contributions you send our way. 

 project video thumbnail

If you want to contribute an annotation, here are the simple steps.  Feel free to DM me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the process. 

 It’s just that simple for now! ;) 

Radix Media

The shop making our booklets is a worker owned printer and publisher.  As one of several worker cooperatives born out of the blossoming Occupy Wall Street movement, Radix Media set up shop in Brooklyn and became a crucial resource for both the radical and surrounding communities of New York City. 

Acts of Solidarity 

A year after organizers at Google led a massive walkout to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment, collective action across tech is on the rise.  We’ve demanded our companies take action for the climate, we’ve started sharing compensation rates with workers across the industry, we’ve challenged the gig economy, and there’s so much more we can do together. 

My Experience With Solidarity

After years of backing projects, working on the Kickstarter team to build the Design and Tech community, and launching several small projects of my own – about a year ago I took on another role in the Kickstarter community as a member of the union. 

I’m proud to have been one of the public organizers for Kickstarter United. I joined out of solidarity, learned so much from my fellow organizers, and experienced the grassroots development of a culture of care. 

Taking part in the unionizing effort opened my eyes to the power of solidarity in practice. I am so grateful to everyone who shared stories, challenged assumptions, verified facts, linked arms, and took action.

Why Kickstarter

This community continues to inspire. Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society.  The platform and team have a stated commitment to supporting creative projects that bring people together and challenge the status quo. There is no better place for a project dedicated to collective action. 

Recognize Kickstarter United 

Although a few of the collaborators are current and former members of Kickstarter United, the funds raised from this campaign are not going to Kickstarter United.  We need to be very clear that there is no formal relationship between Kickstarter United and this campaign. All of the contributors to this project donated their time & talent.  Funds pledged are all going toward the materials and labor required to safely get these kits to you and to fund the free digital version of the booklet.

Risks and challenges

This is the first campaign I’ll be shipping rewards internationally. Other than that, it looks like smooth sailing!

Contact Information:

Clarissa Redwine

Tags:    Reward-Donation, Wire, United States, English