Bandcamp staff gained their union – and it may very well be an indication of issues to return


Bandcamp United introduced late final week that Bandcamp staff had voted to unionize. In a yr that’s bringing deep financial uncertainties and layoffs, there’s yet another hopeful narrative for staff: the organizing motion is rising.

It was becoming that this bought introduced on a Friday, the day the location has devoted to giving its proceeds to labels and artists – one organizers dubbed “Bandcamp United Friday.” The US-based Bandcamp staff voted 31-7 to hitch the union. That is the start of a course of, quite than the top – now the negotiating begins.

Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp’s co-founder, issued a joint assertion along with Bandcamp United:

Bandcamp United and Bandcamp administration are dedicated to working collectively to proceed to advance honest financial situations for our staff and the artists who depend on us. We stay up for negotiating with an open thoughts and dealing in good religion to advertise the very best pursuits of all of our workers and the artist and label group we serve.

Bandcamp United, who had beforehand referred to as on artists and labels to assist their efforts within the USA, are additionally asking for assist for solidarity with SXSW pageant staff and to proceed to observe their efforts:

Thanks all to your assist for Bandcamp United – our workers union of US-based Bandcamp staff. We’re keen to start negotiating over our working situations and dealing with administration to succeed in a legally binding contract.

If you wish to come have fun the ability of staff with us in particular person, be a part of us on Might thirty first in NYC. We’re proud to be supporting a rally for Truthful Pay at SXSW. RSVP to tell us should you can be a part of us on Might thirty first at 12pm and we’ll ship essential updates of how one can assist artists in securing honest financial situations.

We will likely be taking steps ahead within the coming weeks to have fun, relaxation, and construct momentum in direction of the bargaining desk. You may observe us on Twitter and Instagram for updates and extra methods to indicate your assist.

Bandcamp is a major venue, because it’s additionally been a website on which musicians have pinned a whole lot of our personal hopes for higher worth and extra management over our labor. It comes at a time when staff throughout tech and inventive sectors are organizing. It’s price re-reading this text from March by Rolling Stone‘s Kim Kelly, who summarized a whole lot of these beliefs:

Bandcamp Employees Type Union: ‘It’s Not Sufficient to Get Small Wins Alone’ [Rolling Stone]

Jael Goldfine argues in The Nation that the Bandcamp victory may very well be “the newest signal that an actual labor motion is beginning to take form within the music business.” And whereas Goldfine concedes that for musicians, “Bandcamp could be a Band-Help on a gushing flesh wound,” effectively, Band-Aids are nonetheless one thing.

Employees of the Music World Are Uniting—and Successful [The Nation]

There are another hopeful notes in that article – together with, regardless of considerations externally concerning the Epic buyout, that “workers say that Epic launched superior advantages and a bonus construction.” Goldfine notes connections to unionizing throughout tech, and organizing on political activism, as effectively (like Google workers rejecting work on AI for the US navy).

I like how she introduces this story, too. (Journalists sometimes don’t write the headlines however – yeah, right here alternatively, excellent pitch!)

The underside line: it’s price being cautiously optimistic concerning the union effort, and it’s much more essential than earlier than to regulate how the Epic – union effort evolves. The deal these staff get has resonance not just for Bandcamp, however tech, music, and journalism, too. Few firms sit fairly at that intersection like Bandcamp. We’ll be watching.

I’m in contact with Bandcamp United, so hope to have a dialog with the organizers quickly. If in case you have questions for them, let me know.

Oh, and – if this didn’t provide you with sufficient heat and fuzzy emotions already, listed below are a bunch of cute pet pictures from the organizers. (They’re OPEIU, however they missed the apparent – solidarity fur-ever?)





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