Amid a growing trend of unionization among tech company employees, Microsoft believes its employees will never need to do so.
Company president Brad Smith penned a blog post outlining the company’s approach to employees organizing and labor organizations in general. The company is establishing itself as far more open to working with unions and labor organizations than many of its rivals, although Smith maintains that Microsoft’s “employees will never need to organize to have a dialogue with Microsoft’s leaders.”
Unionization has become a controversial topic within the tech community, with Amazon, Apple, and others pushing back against unionization efforts. According to Smith, Microsoft believes a proactive approach to engaging with employees, as well as open door policy to leadership, is the key to keeping employees happy.
“We believe in the importance of listening to our employees’ concerns,” Smith writes. “Our leaders have an open door policy, and we invest in listening systems and employee resource groups that constantly help us understand better both what is working and where we need to improve. But we recognize that there may be times when some employees in some countries may wish to form or join a union.”
At the same time, should employees wish to unionize, Smith makes it clear that Microsoft will chart a much different path than many other tech companies.
“We are committed to creative and collaborative approaches with unions when employees wish to exercise their rights and Microsoft is presented with a specific unionization proposal,” Smith continues. “In many instances, employee unionization proposals may open an opportunity for Microsoft to work with an existing union on agreed upon processes for employees to exercise their rights through a private agreement. We are committed to collaborative approaches that will make it simpler, rather than more difficult, for our employees to make informed decisions and to exercise their legal right to choose whether to form or join a union.”
Microsoft is clearly working hard to proactively address concerns that are causing many of its rivals to draw regulatory scrutiny. The company recently made changes to its cloud policies in response to complaints from that it was unfairly using its position against smaller rivals.