Mr. Friedman mentioned his first trace that the corporate’s management may not be practising the values it preached got here at an organization “summer season camp” retreat within the English countryside in 2018. He recalled that the majority rank-and-file staff roughed it in small tents on a fairground, which grew to become a muddy mess within the rain. Mr. Neumann stayed in a big luxurious tent.
“It was like a bodily manifestation of the ability imbalance,” Mr. Friedman mentioned.
He mentioned his considerations about Mr. Neumann have been solidified in latest months, amid reviews that the corporate had spent $60 million shopping for a personal jet and that Mr. Neumann had purchased a number of mansions.
Within the letter, staff say their considerations transcend the approaching layoffs. The coalition desires extra enter into how the corporate is managed as a result of “we’ve seen what can occur when management makes choices whereas workers haven’t any voice,” although it doesn’t elaborate on its most well-liked manner of influencing administration.
The group says it additionally desires to make sure that the corporate responds appropriately to accusations of sexual misconduct, will increase variety and eliminates the requirement that workers resolve claims towards the corporate by arbitration quite than in court docket.
Final week, a former WeWork worker filed a grievance towards the corporate and Mr. Neumann contending that she had been discriminated towards for changing into pregnant and taking maternity go away. The grievance, filed by Medina Bardhi, who labored as Mr. Neumann’s chief of workers, mentioned he had referred to her maternity go away as a “trip” or “retirement.” The corporate has mentioned it’ll defend itself towards the grievance.
Of their willingness to make collective calls for, the employees seem to echo the actions of workers at a number of tech corporations, together with Microsoft, Amazon and Google, the place 20,000 workers walked off the job final fall to protest the corporate’s dealing with of sexual harassment. After the protests, Google agreed to finish pressured arbitration for worker disputes.
Members of the WeWorkers Coalition say they acquired recommendation from staff on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, who’ve been attempting to unionize. However according to staff at different corporations, like Google, they are saying it might be extra sensible for them to interact in collective motion with out first attempting to create a union.