Do you want to protest your company’s crappy record on sexual harassment? Are you thinking of unionizing? Here’s the Motherboard Guide to Secure Labor Organizing.
How to Organize Your Workplace- In the last few years, American workers across multiple industries have unionized or mobilized collectively in an attempt to get better wages, demand accountability for sexual harassers in the workplace, push for real action to slow down climate change, and in general, change company culture.
The movement seems to be popping up everywhere: Amazon, Google, Gawker, Riot Games, Salesforce, Tesla, Kickstarter, Uber, you name it. In fact, approval ratings for unions among Americans are at the highest level since the beginning of the 2000s, according to Gallup.
As proud members of a union, we at Motherboard understand how important collective action is, and how challenging it can be. One of the biggest and perhaps most overlooked questions is: how do you form a union or organize a workplace walkout without tipping off the company that owns your computers and internet connection?
Whenever you use your company’s communications equipment, there is a risk that the company could find out about your organizing, giving it a chance to thwart planned actions or even retaliate against the organizers. Unfortunately, this is not hypothetical. At Hearst Magazines, the company launched an anti-union campaign to persuade workers to vote against the union. Google has fired employees who have been involved in organizing, and recently hired an anti-union consulting firm, IRI Consultants, to crack down on employee activism at the company. At the end of last year, Amazon threatened to fire employees who spoke out about the company’s carbon footprint. Several employees involved in unionization at Kickstarter also lost their jobs.