You Deserve A Tech Union by Ethan Marcotte

December 18, 2023

If you work at a large company and haven’t ever considered unionizing, you probably should.

The fresh release of this book was hard to miss, and I quietly assumed it’s not for a solo worker like me.

Then I read Blood in the Machine and my mind came back to this; it felt like an urgent matter of education and an obvious next book to read.

It turns out I was right: it’s not a book that has direct application for me1, and if anything it reaffirms that I personally don’t want to work at a company that ever has the power and inclination to hire union-busting legal specialists.

The appeals to solidarity and a healthy balance of power resonate with me, and I appreciate Ethan’s bravery publishing the book as well as that of the many people he interviewed that spoke about their experiences.

Our common humanity binds us together, and motivates us to fight for something better: for a workplace, and a world, that’s more just, fair, and kind.

I left with unanswered questions about whatever the minimum size should be for a union, why some of the mentioned unionization attempts failed, and why a worker might rightfully be reluctant to unionize. That’s probably an unreasonable burden for a short book with a clear and encouraging call to action, which this most definitely is.

Not only did it strike me as well-researched and careful, it seems urgent and timely with the state of automation in the tech industry and it was a quick, easy read.

The book really would make a lovely gift to a friend working at a big tech company, and I’d be re-reading it in a future where I unexpectedly go to work at one.


  1. Or if it does I haven’t connected the dots yet.