Employees at software startup Glitch have signed a collective bargaining agreement with the company via their union, which claims this is the first time white-collar tech workers in the US have signed such a deal.
The agreement, which took effect on 28 February 2021 and will last 11 months, comes a year after Glitch’s workforce voted to unionize under the Communications Workers of America’s (CWA) Local 1101 branch in March 2020.
The effort to bring Glitch workers into the CWA is part of the union’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA), which was launched in January 2020 to help workers in the tech industry build up their power.
Although the agreement – a legal contract between the union and Glitch – does not include anything about higher wages, which are “already generous,” according to a union spokesperson, it does have essential protections for workers.
Most significantly, it gives workers the right to “just cause” for disciplinary action, which means workers can only be fired or otherwise “disciplined” through a specific process. The contract also establishes a “right to recall” in response to Glitch laying off 18 employees (roughly one-third of its workforce) in May 2020, which means the company must offer those employees their jobs back first if it wants to rehire for the positions. Glitch CEO Anil Dash said on Twitter at the time that the lay-offs resulted from the economic pressures of being “a small company in a fiercely competitive space in a tough economy”. For these workers, the contract also includes a provision for a severance package.