On Monday, Mapbox worker Jenn Chow joined Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for a roundtable discussion as part of the Biden administration’s Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. Last week, a supermajority of workers at Mapbox announced that they had formed the Mapbox Workers Union with CWA Local 9410. Chow highlighted the challenges workers in the U.S. face when they join together to form a union and advocate for change at their workplaces.
“We have over 66% public support, and over 70% privately. And that disparity is because people are afraid to go public,” Chow told the group. “People understand the inequality we face across teams and states. However, we’re afraid that our leadership will come at us. Maybe they can’t fire us directly, but they can isolate us. I was even afraid to tell my coworkers that I was coming to talk with you [VP Harris] directly today.”
In response to a question from Vice President Harris about why she decided to join the Mapbox Workers Union after only three weeks on the job, Chow said, “Hearing that as a first generation student – my mom’s a single parent – I made less than my coworkers because they’re white males and went to Stanford or Berkeley, it doesn’t make me less than them. I am just as good as they are.”
Watch Jenn Chow at the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment roundtable in Pittsburgh.
Mapbox Workers Union member Jenn Chow (far right) discussed the fear workers face when organizing a union during a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris.