Salt Lake City, Utah (Dec. 13, 2021) -- Staff at Big Cartel, an e-commerce platform for creative businesses, are the latest tech workers who have chosen to be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Tech Workers Union Local 1010.
Today, Big Cartel’s co-founders voluntarily recognized Big Cartel Workers Union through a card-check process. Contract negotiations between management and Big Cartel Workers Union will begin in January 2022.
“Tech workers are becoming increasingly aware of the power a union brings them at work,” said Brandon Nessen, OPEIU's organizing director. “Unionizing gives working people agency to advance not only their own interests, but the mutual interests shared by both staff and management.”
Voluntary recognition of their union avoids the often contentious and lengthy process of conducting an election via the National Labor Relations Board. Employers who insist on the election procedure often do so in a way that conflicts with the stated mission, goals and values of their organizations.
“We are overjoyed Big Cartel’s co-founders made the choice to voluntarily recognize our union, Big Cartel Workers Union, today via a democratic authorization card-check process,” said Lauren Fazah, who has been with the company for four years. “Now we can begin the process of furthering our shared values: embrace change, empower others, drive bravery and people over profit."
“We are looking forward to starting contract negotiations in early 2022,” said Andrew Shaw, who has been with Big Cartel for two years. “With our contract we’re hoping to improve transparency inside the company's decision-making processes, guarantee equitable pay and benefits across all departments, and ensure workplace policies are fairly enforced and clearly documented.”
With this win, Big Cartel Workers Union becomes the first unit of tech workers in a so-called "right-to-work" state. "Right-to-work" states typically see less union organizing and fewer union wins, but OPEIU Local 1010’s focus on organizing across the tech sector instead of a specific geographic area allows them to build worker power across state lines.
“Every time tech workers win, we see more and more tech workers realize unionizing is possible,” said RV Dougherty, a tech organizer with OPEIU Local 1010. “We are excited to set a precedent with such a strong win in a "right-to-win" state, and we can’t wait to see who is inspired to start organizing next.”