Joint Statement of Solidarity with Unjustly Fired Lanetix Workers
On January 26th, all software engineers at Lanetix, a logistics technology company based in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., were laid off in retaliation for their official petition to form a labor union. The union petition, organized with the NewsGuild-CWA, in particular called for a fair, reasonable process for discipline and firing, and it enjoyed overwhelming support from Lanetix engineering staff. In response, Lanetix fired these workers, and management has announced plans to outsource their engineering to Eastern Europe, where they can pay workers less and claim higher profits. For more information, see the Bloomberg BNA and San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The right of workers to organize together to improve their conditions at work is protected under decades-old labor law, and employer retaliation against such organizing — by firing and by outsourcing — is illegal. On these grounds the NewsGuild-CWA has filed a complaint against Lanetix with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
When workers organize collectively in a union, they can win a voice on the job, better conditions, and fairer compensation in an exceedingly profitable industry. They can also combat inequalities within the workforce that often affect women and other underrepresented groups who can face isolation, and whose only other recourse is an HR department that puts the boss’s interest first. Our legitimate and legal right to fair representation of our needs and desires is under attack when companies like Lanetix retaliate against their workers for organizing.
We stand in solidarity with the Lanetix engineers and we support the NewsGuild-CWA’s complaint against Lanetix management. We call on Lanetix to immediately reinstate these engineers’ jobs with full back pay, without waiting for the final NLRB ruling, at which point management must also recognize their labor union.
The organizations co-authoring this statement were formed in recent years to build the political power of tech workers — from software engineers to customer service workers to janitors — through political education, labor counseling and organizing, and progressive campaigning. We speak on behalf of our hundreds of members based in multiple chapters across the country.
There is a rising tide of progressive politics and labor organizing coming to the tech industry. In this early stage, how we as workers across the industry respond to hostility from management will set the tone for the future of this movement. The road ahead is long, but we will win by standing united.
Make your voice heard. Share this story with friends, talk to trusted peers about the workplace and industry you would like to see, and speak out against this reprehensible union-busting by Lanetix management.
To sign up for updates on our joint solidarity with Lanetix engineers, and to find other ways you can support their fight, or your own, please fill out this form.
Tech Workers Coalition
Tech Action (Democratic Socialists of America, New York City chapter)