The Software Workers at Glitch Get a Historic Union Contract

The Software Workers at Glitch Get a Historic Union Contract

Glitch, the software company behind Tricho and Stack Overflow, now has a collective bargaining agreement with Communications Workers of America (CWA). The news is extraordinary, not just because they claim to be the first software employee to achieve a collective bargaining agreement, but because the leadership of the ratification has been so quiet: no leaked memorandum of smear campaigns, any union-busting Not proof The firms. Wonderful, and awesome.

The contract is the result of an overwhelming majority vote to unionize under the CWA in March 2020, before Glit cites about a third of its workforce citing the economic downturn. In a joint press release, Glitch workers and the CWA described Glitch as an unusually willing participant in the negotiations. "Glitch's management, which voluntarily recognized the union after the announcement, is an exception and should serve as a model for executives of other tech companies," it reads.

The contract, which lasts for 11 months, allegedly "already generous" wages, but does not prioritize job security. The contract guarantees that if the glitch is re-hired, hired workers will be offered their positions. It also ensures just cause, meaning that an employer cannot discipline or fire an employee without indiscipline.

"We love our jobs, we love working at Glitch, which is why we wanted to make sure that we have a lasting voice and lasting security in this company," Glitch press release to software engineer Katie Lundsgaard stated in. "This contract does that, and I hope that technical workers across the industry can see that unions and start-ups are not incompatible."

The apparently painless negotiations mark a change in the acceptance of unions, which the white-collar tech sector (or at least the owners of such companies) have traditionally treated with skepticism, as clunky institutions have a nimble, teamwork -One is contradictory to the workplace. When Kickstarter activists broke ground, announcing union drives in 2019, senior activists called unionism "extreme". An organizer with the Office and Professional Employees International Union, which helped Kickstarter employees, told WIRED that they "had to make tech workers realize they are workers." Soon after the union drive was made public, Kickstarter fired organizers and hired a law firm that specializes in "maintaining a union-free workplace." The employees voted to form the union anyway.

In the past few years, associations to imagining the future from technology have become taboo. With a wave of media outlets, activists of podcasting company Gimlet (under Spotify) voted to form the union in 2019. Recently, middle workers (mainly engineers) lost a unionization attempt by one vote, but plan to move forward. Meanwhile, a union tide has also raided online media outlets.

Large tech companies have carried out concerted efforts with aggressive pressure campaigns and perceived reprisals. Amazon fired a warehouse employee from Staten Island, who was not involved in unionization efforts, allegedly planned to discredit another organizer, and notorious Alabama warehouse workers, who Currently there is a union vote with anti-union propaganda. Google, too, has held organizers and AI researchers critical of its business practices (in all cases, Google has denied retaliation). In 2019, a group of Pittsburgh-based Google contract workers voted to join the United Steel Workers (USW), and a small but growing group of about 890 Google workers joined the CWA with an all-inclusive minority union Gaya, which does not have the right to collective bargaining with the company.

Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch, a vocal proponent of ethics at Tech, told Gizmodo via email that he was pleased with the result. "We want to have a cooperative relationship with our workers, and have reached an agreement that works for everyone in glitches."

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