New York, N.Y. (May 1, 2020) – The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153 members at Kickstarter voted tonight to ratify a lay-off agreement with the crowdfunding company after CEO Aziz Hasan announced sweeping layoffs of up to 45 percent of employees.
The agreement won by Kickstarter United (KSRU) members outlines a range of procedures negotiated by the elected bargaining committee to help members impacted by layoffs, including:
- Four months of severance pay for all laid-off employees;
- Four months of continued healthcare coverage for employees earning more than $110,001;
- Six months of continued healthcare coverage for employees earning $110,001 or less;
- Release from non-compete agreement upon accepting severance; and
- Recall rights of one year for members to return to any forthcoming job opening within their “classification,” and a number of other provisions.
“This agreement, though negotiated under difficult circumstances, is a testament to the power and protections of a union,” said OPEIU President and Local 153 Business Manager Richard Lanigan. “KSRU members courageously voted to become the first union at a major technology company in U.S. history earlier this year. Because of that decision, hardworking Kickstarter employees had a seat at the decision-making table when the company announced layoffs amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“While we are disappointed with the layoffs announced by Kickstarter management, we are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our entire union family in this multifaceted fight for our families’ futures, and thankful for Kickstarter management’s willingness to negotiate a fair deal for their impacted employees,” continued Lanigan. “We also will continue to hold the company to their agreement to recall these employees if there are any hirings in the coming year."
"It's devastating that so many of our brilliant, passionate colleagues are being let go," said Oriana Leckert, Kickstarter's senior journalism outreach lead and a member of the KSRU bargaining committee. "But I'm incredibly proud that we were able to leverage our collective power to assure that the terms of our severance are generous, uplifting and well-tailored to the specific needs of our unique workforce."