The Kickstarter union has reached an agreement with the management to support laid-off employees after the company fired over 45% of the staff due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In an internal memo, Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan noted that the company has seen a 35% drop in new projects with “no clear sign of rebound.”
Kickstarter union represents 60% of the company’s 140 employees and was working with the management to reach an agreement to support the laid-off workers. According to a press release sent out earlier today, the laid-off employees will get the following benefits:
- 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.
OPEIU President and Local 153 Business Manager Richard Lanigan noted that the agreement was "negotiated under difficult circumstances" and "is a testament to the power and protections of a union"
Richard Lanigan further said:
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. We also will continue to hold the company to their agreement to recall these employees if there are any hirings in the coming year.
Kickstarter was the first tech company in US history to unionize after a successful vote in February. Kickstarter employees are represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).