Workers at Change.org unionize with CWA in cross-border campaign

2021.06.30

Workers at online petition company Change.org in Canada and the United States are unionizing with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in a cross-border campaign.

Calling themselves Solidarity@Change, the workers say they want to ensure their working conditions remain the same for the long term, and that they have a say in the future of the company.

The employer, which has North American headquarters in San Francisco and Victoria, is co-operating with the drive and voluntarily recognizing the union.

CWA Canada organizer Katherine Lapointe said the company has about 23 Canadian employees, mostly software engineers in Ontario and British Columbia.

CWA Canada has filed for certification with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) after a majority of the workers signed membership cards with the media union. The CIRB will conduct a card check and release its decision in about a month’s time.

The 65 employees south of the border organized with the help of CWA Local 9410 in San Francisco. Management voluntarily recognized the U.S. union after it was certified by a neutral arbitrator following confirmation in late May that a majority had signed membership cards.

“We are campaigners, engineers, content creators, designers, product managers, and operations professionals,” the workers say in a mission statement.

“We work to give everyone around the globe a voice on our open platform through the democratization of activism — and to achieve this, every worker at Change must have a voice, too.”

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon welcomed the new members, saying unionizing will be good for everyone.

Billing itself as the “world’s platform for change” and described by The New York Times as the “go-to site for Web uprisings,” Change.org is a multimillion-dollar for-profit private corporation that has seven office locations in four countries and more than 200 global staff.

It claims to have more than 300 million users and supporters in 196 countries. People and organizations around the world can start petitions for free.

The company is supported in part by investors. It derives some of its revenue from memberships and solicits donations from petition signers; the money covers operating costs and marketing campaigns that promote Change.org and its petitions.

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