Microsoft has promised to engage with employee unions in the company. The sudden shift marks a significant change in the disapproval of unions by the major technology platforms. Microsoft also stated that it will not prevent its employees from joining a union.
Microsoft President Brad Smith called the campaign inevitable in his statement on the company’s new stance on union building.
“Recent unionization campaigns across the country — including in the tech sector — have led us to conclude that inevitably these issues will touch on more businesses, potentially including our own. This has encouraged us to think proactively about the best approach for our employees, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders,” Smith said.
Although Smith hinted that Microsoft will not stand in the way of future efforts to organize within the company, his interview with Axios on Thursday shows that the issue is sketchy for several reasons. Smith said during the interview that Microsoft would not encourage employees to join unions.
“Our employees will always have direct access to this company’s senior leaders. They don’t need to form a union to be heard,” Smith said.