Bandcamp has always been known as an artist-friendly alternative to streaming services like Spotify, where you can buy music directly from the musicians themselves. Now, workers at the Epic-owned online audio distributor want to ensure that they’re treated as well as its creators by forming a union called Bandcamp United. According to Rolling Stone and TechCrunch, a majority of workers are in favor of unionizing, and all 62 of its non-managerial and non-supervisory personnel in the US will make up its bargaining unit. Those 62 workers are composed of support staff, designers, engineers, writers and other roles within the platform.
Apparently, Bandcamp’s personnel have been quietly working on their organizing efforts since last summer. They ultimately decided to join Tech Workers Union Local 1010 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, which is the same group that helped full-time Kickstarter employees organize back in 2020. Based on the mission statement written on Bandcamp United’s website, the group aims to fix pay disparities and promote “equitable conditions and economic stability.” They want to make sure workers have access to paid time off and that their salaries “will grow to meet economic necessity.”
Rolling Stone says they’re also looking to address management’s lack of transparency after Epic’s takeover last year. Workers were reportedly asked to sign new employment contracts when the Fortnite developer acquired the platform, and they were given a limited amount of time to review its terms with no room for negotiations.
Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp’s CEO, told the publications that management is “aware that some… employees are seeking to organize a union and [is] reviewing the petition to understand their concerns.” Bandcamp United has already filed for a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to administer a union election and will hold one to make things official once it gets approved.