Economy

The New Way That Employees Are Dishing Truth About Their Workplace

July 13th 2015

By:
Thor Benson

With union membership on the decline, the world of technology might have something to offer to replace them. Websites like Coworker.org are making it so employees who work at the same company in different locations can organize online and come up with campaigns to change how the company handles its employees.

"I think workplace activism is spreading, and workers in virtually every sector of the economy are using digital tools to exercise and assert their power," Jess Kutch, co-founder of Coworker, told ATTN:. She said not only her website, but other websites like Glassdoor, are helping lead the way. Glassdoor lets employees and former employees share information about wages and working conditions at a specific company, which helps employees know what to expect and what others are experiencing. If the employees know what they're getting into or how their experience is different than a coworker's, then they can do something about it. " Employees from some of the world's largest companies are campaigning on Coworker.org on everything from dress code changes to pay raises," Kutch said.

These campaigns aren't falling on deaf ears either. One user, Kutch said, was able to get enough support from fellow employees to convince Starbucks to change its policy that didn't allow them to have visible tattoos. Employees of Zara in New York were able to change how scheduling was done, too. All that matters is getting enough employees behind a campaign and getting the company's attention, then you just have to hope they take it seriously right away.

Kutch also pointed out that many young people are starting their careers in a freelance or gig-based economy, and being able to organize among other freelancers could be a big benefit to them. " Shareholders and investors have power. Corporate boards have power. CEOs have power. If employees wish to have a seat at the table, they'll need to organize for their own power," Kutch said. She thinks if the employees choose not to speak out about what they want from their company, it's likely they won't ever get it.

In a major company like Starbucks, it can be easy to only see the company from the perspective of the small staff you're working with. However, with websites like Coworker, employees can gain a sense of camaraderie and band together to become a larger force for change. Instead of a few people complaining about not making enough or a certain policy that offends, employees from many stores can create a network big enough to get the company's attention.