It was 79F yesterday in the ATX and 46F this morning. We’ll see 60F by the afternoon. Winter is brutal in Austin By God Texas, y’all. Brutal.
So, I have been reading up on efforts to create unions at tech firms — talking to you Kickstarter, Uber, Google. While I used “Kickstarter” as the click bait title, there has been a lot of such activity in the tech world.
I am a huge fan of Kickstarter and the entire crowdfunding industry. It was an industry that was invented from the whole cloth and I love it, but as a company, their ham handed response to an effort to unionize their 160 person workforce has been a study in how not to do things.
Buzzfeed is another example of a company who saw the writing on the wall, read it, translated it, and acted upon it.
This union formation effort happens and is happening for a number of reasons:
1. First, we are at full employment. When you arrive at full employment, the power at the negotiating table swings to the employee side. READ THIS AGAIN
This is the most basic, fundamental change in the market. If you ignore this simple fact, then you are hopelessly lost. Anybody who is resisting the creation of unions has to face up to this reality.
2. Unionized employees get higher pay, better benefits, and better understanding of the employee-employer relationship.
When companies like We Work — and a slew of other SoftBank funded goliaths — layoff thousands of employees in a single day, workers are going to look for a port in that storm. When they arrive, they will be wet and pissed off. That pissed offness will generate energy.