Regarding Kickstarter: In solidarity with unionizing workers

Sep 19th, 2019 | By | Category: CG Blog

Crossed Genres has used Kickstarter for nearly a decade, running our first project when the company was only a year old. Seven successful projects have raised just shy of $100,000, helped us resurrect our magazine, and brought nine of our titles to life. It’s not a stretch to say that Crossed Genres might not still exist without Kickstarter.

We’ve been preparing to launch an eighth Kickstarter, to fund our second micro-anthology RECOGNIZE FASCISM. And in fact, we were going to launch the project this week.

It was recently revealed that Kickstarter’s management has been actively attempting to stop its workers from unionizing. They fired at least three people who were organizing the unionization effort, and their excuses (“performance issues”) don’t hold up under even slight scrutiny. (Here is an article with a thorough explanation of the situation, including details on a charge filed on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board accusing Kickstarter of wrongful termination.)

This is absolutely unacceptable. Crossed Genres is 100% pro-union, and fully supports the rights of workers to unionize. Collective bargaining is a right every worker should have.

Over the past few days we’ve reached out to some of the affected people, as well as people we know still within Kickstarter. No workers at the company, or the recently fired former employees, have publicly called for a boycott of Kickstarter yet. But we’ve decided that we cannot in good conscience use a platform that’s  illegally firing workers for organizing unions.

So, we’ve postponed our new Kickstarter, and are currently researching other options for crowdfunding. We will only consider returning to Kickstarter once they’ve reversed course, publicly acknowledged their workers’ right to collectively bargain, and rectified the unjust firings.

We have also joined nearly 200 former and present project creators in signing this petition, started by Current Affairs, Protean Magazine, and Pinko Magazine, condemning Kickstarter management’s actions and expressing our support for the workers attempting to unionize. (There is also a second petition, for both backers and creators.)

This is a sad turn of events, as Kickstarter has been an enormous boon, not just to us but to the independent SFF community as a whole. We strongly urge Kickstarter management to do the right thing and live up to the progressive reputation the company has strived to cultivate over the past decade.

Signed,

Bart and Kay
Co-founders, Crossed Genres Publications

Crystal Huff
Co-Editor, Resist Fascism & Recognize Fascism

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