Kickstarter union reaches agreement with management for laid-off workers

The union for Kickstarter employees reached an agreement with management on Friday which provides protections for laid-off workers, the union said in a press release. The crowdfunding company announced in an internal memo April 20th it would likely seek layoffs, along with other cost-cutting measures. CEO Aziz Hazan wrote in the memo that Kickstarter had seen a 35 percent drop in new crowdfunding projects on the site in the past several weeks, with “no clear sign of rebound.”

Kickstarter United, the union that represents 60 percent of the company’s 140 employees, said the agreement includes four months of severance pay for all laid-off employees, a release from any non-compete agreements for anyone who accepts severance, and recall rights for one year. The company will continue healthcare coverage for laid-off employees as well for up to six months, depending on salary.

Kickstarter workers successfully voted to unionize in February.

Hasan said in the April 20th memo that Kickstarter brought in $1.27 million in after-tax profit last year, which has been reinvested back into the business. He mentioned other cost-cutting measures besides layoffs, including a reduction in senior management salaries and not hiring for some vacant positions.

Union leaders said they were “disappointed” with the layoffs, which may include up to 45 percent of Kickstarter employees, and will hold the company to the agreement to recall laid-off workers for any future hiring in the next year.

Kickstarter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

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