The kickstarter US internet funding company is notorious for its anti-union attitude and open hostility to Working Class self-organisation, so we are dismayed to find that the gal-dem media outlet has gone into partnership with it.
With its magazine format, gal-dem combines popular culture and other ephemera with some incisive political, social and historical content.
The Kickstarter United union was initially formed not just to haggle over wages but to hold the company to account over its politics, in particular failure to support an anti-Nazi publication and poor handling of sexual harassment.
The management’s response has been patronising and arrogant, they call themselves “the leadership” and claim to know better than their Workers! They fired union organisers Taylor Moore and Clarissa Redwine and tried to bribe them into signing non-disclosure agreements – which they refused, other sackings followed.
In a leaked memo they bleat:
“The effort to unionize Kickstarter hasn’t felt transparent or fair.” and: “Furthermore, we feel we’re owed more detail from the union organizers as to what their specific demands are and how a union will address them.”
Bosses are not leaders, they are a class who purchase our time and a pretence of deference, as cheaply as possible and use it to increase their capital, an abstract quantity that represents their power over us and their ability to restrict our access to the things we produce. They trade our needs and abilities on the market and reward us with a fraction of the social product they expropriated from us and our Fellow Workers the day before. This isn’t “transparent or fair” and the Working Class owes them nothing.
It’s been the experience of the IWW that some charitable and ‘third sector’ enterprises make the worst employers. They are often extremely hierarchical, run by unaccountable self-important cliques who expect their employees to work for love. In fact every Worker needs a union and has an absolute right to organise on the job, this is not negotiable.
Most radical and progressive causes have disengaged with kickstarter and will boycott their clients. This is from the facebook page of the musician and activist Robb Johnson:
“I have just cancelled – I hope – the current Kickstarter. In response to questions about union membership Kickstarter support responded:
Currently no employees at Kickstarter are unionized. We’re not in a position to speak to this at length, but we can tell you that Aziz Hasan, Kickstarter’s CEO, spoke with the staff earlier this year and shared the leadership team’s position, which is that the company is better set up to achieve its mission without the framework of a union. He also said that leadership would not voluntarily recognize the union if asked.
I don’t want to work with or make money for a “leadership” that is anti-union.“
– Robb Johnson.