Etsy sellers could be the next to form a union


Etsy sellers boycotting the craft site over fees are now considering forming a union.

A 30% fee hike took effect at Etsy on April 11, when weary sellers began boycotting the platform, arguing that base fees had more than doubled in less than four years.

The boycott has been so successful – with more than 100,000 vendors and supporters signing a petition as of Monday – that organizers are considering forming a union.

Kristi Cassidy, who led the boycott, in which sellers put their stores in “vacation mode,” told CNBC that recent organizing efforts at Starbucks stores and an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island have inspired sellers to start developing their own plans.

A number of working groups have contacted her recently, she added.

Etsy sellers have put their online stores in “vacation mode” to support the boycott.
Etsy
A person who assembles pearl jewelry.
Many Etsy stores are run by women.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“The crazy thing is, I didn’t even know how many people agreed with me,” Cassidy told CNBC. “It’s been a huge, eye-opening experience just to see how all the other people who are on this platform trying to make a living with me are on board and how supportive my clients are.”

Etsy said the additional revenue from the increased fees will help it bolster its customer support for sellers. Sellers have long complained that Etsy is difficult to communicate with and their complaints are rarely addressed.

“Etsy has strayed further and further from its founding vision over the years,” according to the boycott petition. “What started as an experiment in market democracy has become a dictatorial relationship between a faceless technological empire and millions of exploited, mostly female artisans.”

An assortment of beads.
The boycott is due to end on April 18.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brooklyn-based Etsy did not immediately respond to comments.

New York Post

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