According to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, 15 engineers were laid off by cloud software company Lanetix, Inc., for planning to form a union.
And to add insult to injury, their employer allegedly first found out about their plan by eavesdropping on their “private” Slack channel.
*UNIONJACK has left the chat room*
The engineers contend that the firings came after they’d formed plans (over Slack) to unionize — and only 10 days after they’d filed a petition to join the Communications Workers of America.
But Lanetix tells a different story: they had a “lackluster” Q4, and are merely looking to outsource all engineering jobs to Eastern Europe.
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Um… timing’s kinda weird, brahs
This case (and Lanetix’s defense) is eerily reminiscent of the recent debacle at now-defunct DNAinfo: the media company decided to close shop last November, just one week after their writers tried to form a union — and they attributed the decision to poor financials.
The difference here is that we’re not talking about (presumably underpaid) writers in a dying industry: these are (presumably highly paid) engineers in a thriving industry.
The average SF-based software engineer makes $125k and has great benefits. Traditionally, it hasn’t been a market concerned with unionizing efforts. But maybe the tides are changing…