Salt Lake City, Utah (Dec. 1, 2021) -- Employees at the e-commerce company Big Cartel today requested from their employer voluntary recognition of their union with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local Union 1010.
A supermajority of workers at the e-commerce platform -- including product developers, engineers, designers, support, marketing and operations staff -- signed union authorization cards and have publicly signed onto a voluntary recognition letter delivered to Matt Wigham and Eric Turner, co-founders of the company.
In their letter requesting voluntary recognition, Big Cartel employees said "forming a union will promote transparency and collaboration, ensure equity, increase staff well-being and retention, and add to the long list of reasons we choose to work at Big Cartel."
Citing the company's own stated values -- embrace change, empower others, drive bravery and people over profit -- the Big Cartel Workers Union intends to use the collective bargaining process to codify and apply those values to their own workplace. Like many tech workers, workers at Big Cartel are unionizing to improve transparency inside the company's decision-making processes, to guarantee equitable pay and benefits along racial and gender lines, and to ensure workplace policies are fairly enforced and clearly documented.
“Our company is in a moment of transition, and as workers, we deserve a voice in how we move forward together,” says Lauren Fazah, who has been at Big Cartel for four years. “By unionizing, we're showing our leadership that we're strong together, that we workers have collective power, and we want to use that to benefit each other and the company as a whole.”
“With the pandemic, workers have had time to think about what role work plays in their life. We've seen people across tech considering their priorities and leaving when they aren't met,” says Andrew Shaw, a worker at Big Cartel. “We don't want that to happen at Big Cartel. We value our colleagues, and we want this to be a place people choose to stay.”
Their union is affiliated with OPEIU's Tech Workers Local Union 1010 -- a first-of-its-kind local union built by and for workers in the burgeoning tech sector.
"Outside of our company," reads the voluntary recognition request, "we're seeing waves of change as unions form across the tech industry, including our OPEIU Local 1010 associates at Kickstarter and Code for America. We want to be a part of this movement that offers employees a say in how they work and how they are valued at work."
The union has asked for voluntary recognition by Monday, Dec. 6, and a good-faith start to first contract negotiations shortly thereafter. If recognition is denied or ignored, the union is prepared to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.