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Could Unions At Tech Companies Gain Traction in 2020?

“2020 may be the year where tech unionizing efforts gain some actual traction for the first time,” argues GeekWire:

The chances of this happening in 2020 reflect several factors in the industry and political landscape coming together in the right way for the first time ever. The “Streisand Effect” is basically where the actions you take to prevent what you most want not to happen actually makes it happen. Google has been in the news recently around unionizing activity and its response to that…. [T]he perceived heavy-handed response by Google and the response to it seem more likely to foster more pro-union activity at Google in the near future than to quell it. As Google is a huge presence in Silicon Valley and other cities such as Seattle, these actions can have ripple effects throughout the industry. Certainly, it seems more rather than less likely that there will be continued actions like this at Google in 2020. Since Google is such a leader in the industry, that could spread to other companies in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Here we turn from Google to two other tech powerhouses: Amazon and Uber. Both of these companies now have a huge presence in areas that have historically strong bastions of union activity: trucking and transportation… [T]he war around unionization and ride-sharing is happening on multiple fronts and at the state level it will be harder for Uber and Lyft to combat this.

Two other factors come into play here in the broader business and political landscape and they both mean that right now, tech companies have few friends outside of the tech industry that would be willing to come to their aid in these fights against unionization… Take all these factors and put them together and you have the makings of a true perfect storm for union activity in tech in 2020.


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