We’ve been watching closely the attempts by the Kickstarter United (KSRU) to get recognised by Kickstarter as an official union. We’ve been dismayed by the response by Kickstarter. We support staff efforts to unionise, and we support the demands for Kickstarter to #recognizeKSRU.
We would like to emphasise that KSRU have not called for a boycott of Kickstarter, and doing so unilaterally at this stage is likely to undermine efforts to secure recognition. We are not boycotting Kickstarter. With that said, we support individual choice and nobody should be attacked for choosing to stay away from the platform at this time.
Below is an email we have sent to Kickstarter senior management (kickstarter-sot(at)kickstarter.com) and to thoughts(at)kickstarterunited.org. We’d urge all creators and backers to make your support known too.
To whom it may concern
We are writing as co-owners of Black Armada Games. We are three-time creators on Kickstarter. We have backed dozens of projects ourselves. We truly appreciate the service that Kickstarter and its workers provide to help entrepreneurs and individuals alike bring their dreams to life. We are substantial beneficiaries of that service, and we would like to use it again. Indeed, we have a campaign coming up in early 2020 that we would like to put on Kickstarter.
However, your company’s position on recognition of Kickstarter United has put us in a very difficult position. We support employees’ right to unionise as a matter of principle. We support the aims that KSRU have put forward – honestly, we struggle to see how anyone could disagree with them. It seems to us that those aims, and the support for workers to be able to unionise, is strongly consistent with Kickstarter’s stated values, not least as Kickstarter is a public benefit corporation.
It is clear that Kickstarter’s actions have been to oppose unionisation. While you have claimed to take a neutral position, in practice you have argued against forming a union, you have pushed for a process (NLRB elections) which will impede the speed and likelihood of the union being recognised. And that is without even considering the sacking of KSRU organisers, an action which looks deeply suspicious. We are horrified by these actions and, were KSRU to call for a boycott, they would have our wholehearted support and compliance.
With all that said, we have a decision to make as to whether to put our next campaign on Kickstarter or choose one of your many rival crowdfunding sites. We imagine we are not alone in reconsidering whether Kickstarter is the best platform for our brand and our values. We do not wish to undermine KSRU and we are not boycotting your site, but as a business we have to choose the best platform for our work. We may yet decide to continue with Kickstarter, but this issue weighs heavily in our minds.
And so we call on you to voluntarily recognise KSRU. End your oppositional behaviour. Redeem your reputation and move on from this PR disaster. Live your values and those of countless creators and backers. And selfishly, we’d ask you to do it swiftly so as to make our decision about our campaign an easy one.
Josh Fox and Becky Annison
Black Armada Games