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Etsy sellers who are boycotting the arts-and-crafts site over fees are now considering forming a union.

A 30% fee hike went into effect at Etsy on April 11, when fed-up sellers began to boycott the platform, arguing that basic fees have more than doubled in less than four years. 

The boycott was so successful — with more than 100,000 sellers and supporters signing a petition as of Monday — that the organizers are considering forming a union.

Kristi Cassidy, who spearheaded the boycott, in which sellers put their stores on “vacation mode,” told CNBC that recent organizing efforts at Starbucks stores and an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island inspired sellers to begin mapping out their own plans.

A number of labor groups reached out to her recently, she added. 

An Etsy seller displaying its support for the boycott with a sign stating that "this shop is on strike."
Etsy sellers put their online stores on “vacation mode” to support the boycott.
A person putting together jewelry made from beads.
Many of the Etsy stores are run by women.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“The crazy thing is, I didn’t even realize just how many people there were out there that agreed with me,” Cassidy told CNBC. “It’s been this huge, eye-opening experience just to see how much all the other people that are on this platform trying to make a living with me agree and how much my customers support me.”

Etsy has said the extra revenue from the fee increase will help it beef up its customer support to sellers. Sellers have long complained that Etsy is difficult to communicate with and that their complaints are rarely addressed.

“Etsy has strayed further and further from its founding vision over the years,” according to the boycott petition. “What began as an experiment in marketplace democracy has come to resemble a dictatorial relationship between a faceless tech empire and millions of exploited, majority-women craftspeople.”

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

Etsy, which is based in Brooklyn, did not immediately respond for comment.

Source: NYPOST

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