Bandcamp employees are unionizing — and placing demands on owner Epic Games, who previously looked to squash unionization efforts within its own company.
Bandcamp workers across all departments are pushing to unionize, calling on the company and owner Epic Games to enable a “timely and fair election.” The effort has affiliated with the Tech Workers Union Local 1010 of The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU). Epic Games, which acquired Bandcamp only last year, has worked previously to counter unionization efforts within its primary company.
“We are Bandcamp United — a union of workers across all departments at Bandcamp committed to advocating for a better Bandcamp for all, including our international colleagues and the artists, labels, and fans who use the platform as well as ourselves,” the Bandcamp workers tweeted.
“We are project managers, and we are engineers, we are designers, we are vinyl campaign managers, we are support staff, we are editors and writers,” wrote the staffers. “Forming our union is critical to our ability to do our best work and make good on the promise and mission of Bandcamp to provide fair economic conditions, direct support, and transparency for ourselves and all of our users.”
“The music and tech industries are at a juncture, and it’s time that we as workers have a seat at the table to weigh in on the challenges and opportunities of this moment. That’s why we have come together to form Bandcamp United, a union comprising US-based workers across all departments at Bandcamp.”
“With our union, we will have a voice in our working conditions and the power to hold Bandcamp accountable to the independent artists and labels who use it — most of whom are workers just like us, and for whom Bandcamp provides vital income to help sustain their creative projects.”
Earlier this year, independent music powerhouse The Secretly Group successfully unionized after management endorsed the efforts of employees to seek representation.
“Just as we work to empower our artist and label partners, we want to empower our employees: collaboratively, openly, in full recognition of our competing priorities and our shared goals,” read Secretly’s statement. “Our employees have taken this progressive step to empower themselves in partnership with us. We applaud this effort and welcome this renewed opportunity for that partnership.”