Moog Music Recognizes Workers’ Right To Unionize, ‘Committed To Building An Even Stronger Moog’

Moog Music has released a response to workers’ unionization plans, saying that, while the company does not believe that a union is in the workers’ best interests, they recognize their workers’ right to organize:

“Moog Music Inc. is aware of the unionization campaign launched by the IBEW 238 and a group of Moog Music staff members.

We respect that our employee-owners have the right to join a union, and we will not do anything to interfere with their right to do so.

We have engaged outside resources to help ensure our company navigates the aforementioned union efforts legally and with proper guidance. While we don’t believe a union is in the best interests of our employee-owners, we will ensure that everyone at the factory has access to accurate information about unions and what a union would mean at Moog so that our employees may make their own informed decisions.

We will continue to encourage our employee-owners to share their concerns and participate in direct conversations with management to achieve our shared goals. And we will remain committed to providing benefits (medical, dental, vision, 401K with company match, shares in the ESOP, life insurance) and compensation packages that are competitive both regionally and within the industry.

Working together, we are committed to building an even stronger Moog so that all employee-owners know their voices are heard, their needs are met, and they can take pride in the quality instruments they design, build, package, ship, and service for our customers.”

On Wednesday June 1st, a group of Moog Music employees announced that they are organizing with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and seek to join Local 238.

The workers say that they want to address:

  • Address unlivable low wages;
  • Achieve a voice in the company; and
  • Gain just-cause employment protections.

The employees say that they also want to precedent by unionizing a manufacturing facility in the south. Organizers say that North Carolina is the second least unionized state in the nation, with just 2.6% of workers organized. In 2021, Oxfam ranked North Carolina as the worst state in the country for wages, worker protections, and rights to organize.

78 thoughts on “Moog Music Recognizes Workers’ Right To Unionize, ‘Committed To Building An Even Stronger Moog’

      1. Synthhead, why delete my post. John Rossi, repeatedly and and disparagingly ridicules conscientiousness with hatefulness and trivialisation, by using the word “woke” as many far right and even more sinister elements (if that is possible) to diminish the important work being done by the truly courageous in our society. No, they will not get all of right, however fighting for common rights, civil rights, racial and sexual equality, and equity are human rights!

        All I said was how is that so many Americans come apart at the notion of having a livable minimum wage and yet they seemingly have no compunction against the obscene salaries of CEO’s and ‘upper’ management.

        Yes, I called him names, he has for far too long written these barely disguised hateful words unchecked. I would have expected you to step in first.

        1. That was a pretty woke reply. To not see the difference between calling him names and him using woke to imply a point of view is what is wrong with the whole woke crowd. If Moog succeeds then that’s the best response to anyone doubting the union move.

        2. It is because we America’s are trained from birth to be obedient cogs in the wage slave machine. I recommend just moving out of the US, it will collapse under it’s own hypocrisy. If my current ailment does not kill me, I am moving out of here at all costs….I just wish we had the option to sell our citizenship for profit….America being theyl way it is and all it would make sense….

    1. Why is being woke (aka, socially aware) a bad thing? And what does organized labor have to do with your bizarre phobia of people being kind and respectful?

      1. How I see “Woke” is like : “No one should ever stab anyone in the face…. unless they are racist, homophobic, mysoginistic, or (fill in the blank)-ic, then stab away. I see it as morality with no morals. You’re either right or wrong or right to do wrong if your doing the wrong to someone you think has done wrong. Its some weird circular logic spinning in a toilet bowl. BUT, being socially aware is cool but thats like 2% of being woke now, was more before everyone learned you could get likes for being woke, then it went downhill. FI, this is from my POV.

        1. I would not expect you to have an enlightened view of anything, thank you for proving whom and what you are.

        2. HR, I don’t understand this explanation. It’s really confusing, and sounds kind of circular/straw-man-ish. Do you want to take another run at it? Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about.

          1. stub! Handsome was quite clear… You’re either right or wrong or right to do wrong if your [sic] doing the wrong to someone you think has done wrong

              1. I’m not sure if you are replying to me. I was merely gently poking fun. I have no clue what they are talking about…. its reads like a rant from a legitimately insane person.

        1. If you check your dictionary you’ll see that “woke” is defined as “awake”. But in this context it really is best defined as “socially aware”. Anything else you’ve heard is pure propaganda.

            1. People who throw the word “woke” around, should consider in a more careful way what that word suggests.

              A rich, powerful, and/or influential person can do or say racist, sexist, stupid, or rape-y things. Whether because of shame or a desire to counterpunch, They can dismiss or marginalize critics by referring to them as “woke”.

              In any job, there are behaviors that can get you fired. But if you are rich, powerful, influential, you do/say whatever you want, and you just keep failing up and up. And yes, “woke” people will be there shining an uncomfortable bright light on the shenanigans.

              Color me proudly woke.

            2. Hi Tim, it seems there is a small disagreement here. My definition was sourced from Websters Dictionary. Yours was sourced from….. where?

            3. It’s sadly ironic that you’re trying to cancel people you disagree with, with your comment, and you don’t seem to be aware enough to realize it.

        2. I’ve never heard it used that way. I’ve only ever heard it hurled as a generality to a huge group of people with no context. Trying to take a positive thing and spin it into a negative.

          Also, it’s ideological, not idealogical.

      2. These responses don’t make sense to me. I still don’t know what you are referring to.

        Is this a response to people protesting injustice? Is it a term that a rich/powerful person uses to divert attention when they are embarrassed by their own actions?

        I don’t think I’ve ever heard that word “woke” referring to something specific. I’ve always heard it thrown as a vague generalization (like on this thread). And these definitions haven’t helped.

        Seems like any time someone calls out injustice or stupidity, it can be dismissed this way.

      1. LOL. Yeah, many of them are like that character in a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon:

        Hassan chop! Hassan like…….Hassan like.

    2. First time I’ve ever heard unions being called woke.
      Check your facts, John, and let me know your sources.

      9 things the (UK) unions ever did for us:

      Introduced the 9 to 5
      Increased the amount of annual leave
      Forced employers to abide by contracts
      Lifted restrictions on parental leave
      Tackled discrimination
      Helped introduce the minimum wage
      Allowed us to talk to bosses about pay and conditions
      Proved the power of the petition
      And gave us the weekend

      Source:
      https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/09/15/trade-union-bill-9-things-theyve-done-that-have-change-work-for-us-all_n_8141778.html

      ————–
      And from the US:

      ” –Nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 83 percent of earnings for workers who
      were union members ($975 versus $1,169). (The comparisons of earnings in this news release are
      on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be important in explaining
      earnings differences.) (See table 2.)”

      “Industries with high unionization rates included utilities (19.7 percent), motion
      pictures and SOUND RECORDING INDUSTRIES (17.3 percent), and transportation and warehousing (14.7
      percent).” [my emphasis]

      Source: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

    3. So many miserable people out there can’t be happy for laborers successfully fighting for better compensation and security…

      1. If laborers want higher income they should pick a different profession and work hard to get there. Its simple economics. Join a profession where its harder to replace workers in and you’ll make more. If you want to make less join a profession with no skills required.

        1. Machines will replace all jobs for the most part before the century is out. Businesses for the most part treat workers like toilet paper, and any that don’t would be astronomically hard to get into without deep pockets or the right connections. The only solution is to be self employed, but not everyone can/wants to do that.

    4. Its a sad day for Moog, their costs will go up and their quality will go down. We’ll see if they survive at all.

  1. From the previous article on this: “They note that the starting hourly rate at Moog for assemblers, packers, and warehouse workers is $14.10/hour, but a living wage in Asheville is $17.70/hour.”

    Sounds to me like a union *is* in their best interest.

    1. Yeah quite surprised at this, I guess they are not breaking the minimum wage law as apposed to the living wage (not law)

      1. A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs.

        This is a widely used metric and you can easily look up living wage estimates for the entire US:

        https://livingwage.mit.edu/

        Jobs that pay less than a living wage create a burden for taxpayers, because low-paid workers require government social services to survive.

  2. When workers seek to unionize, company often hires “outside resources” that claim to be neutral but actually attempt to sabotage the union vote. I don’t want to presume, but it sounds like that’s what this is.

  3. Let’s not buy any more products from this company before they change the way they treat their emploees. Important music and technology has always been radical and fair, but the way Moog treats their workers is the direct opposite of radical. I fortunately don’t own any Moog (or Behringer) product myself, I don’t need it. They are not all that special, only propaganda make you believe so. Moog is like the synth version of Nike, Adidas or Apple, you only pay for the logo and status of owning one of their products. It’s all hype. Thay haven’t had a new idea since 1973 or whatever, it’s all remakes and different versions of that first mono synth

    1. “Let’s not buy any more products from this company before they change the way they treat their employees.”

      WTF? Do you actually think the Chinese workers that assemble most company’s synths get better pay and benefits than Moog employees?

      1. That post didn’t say he thinks Chinese workers are treated better, he just said let’s not buy products from Moog for the time being. If you wanna boycott products from other companies go for it, you can actually avoid more than one company at a time.

        1. Moog is probably one of the best employers in the synth world.

          The unionizers are just pointing out the reality that, a ‘good’ job in America should pay a living wage, and a lot of manufacturing jobs don’t do that anymore.

          Boycotting Moog is an idiotic response, at this point. Show me the synth manufacturing jobs where employees have an ownership stake, good benefits and pay a living wage.

    2. I was waiting for Captain Criticism to jump in here but I didnt expect it to be this funny. I think everyone is an activist in the comments but overlook all of the problematic industries and companies they are a consumer of. Everyone’s mirror is a little dirty, if it were clean, we’d all see how full of #$%@ we all are in most cases. Ultimately, to each their own.

      1. That’s mostly because you’re projecting onto us what we supposedly think about other industries, while in reality, you have no idea. Why don’t we talk about our opinions on landlords, supermarket chains, cellphones and capitalism here? Because it’s off topic, duh.

      1. At least we will have one less synth company! Then there will be more room for other companies (that treat their workers better). That’s capitalism! It’s up to you, the consumer, to choose. Now do whats right and stay away from Moog, or the other chinese companies you keep ranting about.

        It’s like Moog is the fucking holy grail of synthesizers?
        There are so much other good stuff out there

        You americans (and chinese people) don’t really have a tradition for unions or social concern. For you, it’s all about the american dream, a dream that for many people in the US is more like a nightmare. There’s so much powerty in the US, but I you don’t see it yourself, since you are one of the lucky few. US is at least 100 years behind western europe regarding social concerns.

        1. I always enjoy being lectured by Europeans about social equality. Let’s see what’s at the root of so many problems in the USA. Firstly, we built a country by murdering indigenous people and taking their land. Then we abducted people from Africa and enslaved them. Free resources and cheap labor. The thing is, these things were all done by European powers and settlers. It must feel good to wash your hands of any responsibility and assume an air of superiority.

          We are still far from addressing the rot in our roots here in the USA. Many of us have ideals, but we are from reaching them. I would never claim we are a great model of social equality, but it’s important to understand the underlying history, because our inequality is not simply about capitalism. Most colonial scars are still quite visible here: the highest rates of poverty are among African-Americans and Indigenous communities, for example. Look around the rest of the continent, and you’ll see similar stories playing out in the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Great inequality, with the poorest being Black and Indigenous communities. I’ve lived in Guatemala as well as the USA, and the similarities are striking. It’s cause and effect, with the fingerprints of white supremacy everywhere.

        2. I’m not American or Chinese, but happy to respond.

          There are *very* few synth companies in the world with more than 10 employees; I can’t think of any reason to wish for the demise of Moog unless you’re a shareholder of a competing company. The Moog employees I’ve met over the years have been really decent people and I suspect it’s a great place to work.

          Let’s hope they can sort out their internal issues and move forward with higher wages and more input from all levels of the company.

    3. Seriously, if you’re going to boycott anyone, boycott the worst offenders first.
      Moog aren’t the worst by a long mark.
      If any other large synth company have better credentials than 49% employee owned and unionised then please let us know.
      The devil is in the detail though about that 49%. The employees can’t halt any company policies be they remuneration for top management or employee welfare. Still, Moog likes to screen print it on their products!
      Moog at least has local, US, assembly of outsourced (often Chinese) parts for most, if not all, products. Can’t say that about Novation, Arturia or Behringer. Can say that about Studio Electronics and Sequential.

    4. Lets not buy any more moog products because they are overpriced and are about to become more over priced as their labor costs are now going to increase substantially.

    5. “Important technology has always been radical and fair”…Like all these Nazi scientists bringing technology to the Soviet union and US after ww2…

  4. Certainly shared objectives, before the sale of the product, then they diverge: the management wants and takes a greater percentage of the sale and the workers a share set by the management. The psycho-technical of 49% of shares is made to co-opt the workers in the interests of the real owners …

  5. The next Moog product I buy I will know that the delicate and fragile components that are carefully and meticulously assembled in this complex device that will last me for years to come was put together by someone who’s family did not have to cut corners to eat, heat, cool, or keep roofs over their heads.
    Moog the highest tech?… No, but still the best in my mind. When I purchase my 8th one I will be happy remember this.

  6. The synth market is staggering under the load of global BS, just like any other. Historically, some bosses are greedy f***s in these situations and others get honestly drowned in the tidal wave of uncontrollable elements. Not having access to Moog’s ledgers, all I have is conjecture. I get the feeling their layoffs weren’t for fun; the market forced it. They are a primo & boutiquish company with little actual “budget” gear. COVID and Ukraine surely haven’t helped.

    I’ve owned 4 Moogs and they were all solid. I hope the company finds a balance rather than sinking.

    1. You’re making the assumption that Moog is making massive amounts of money. It’s also quite possible that they have been stung by global part shortages and rising costs. We simply don’t know enough about what’s really going on there to make an informed decision.

      One thing is certain: It’s impossible for Moog to compete on price, because companies like Behringer can hire hundreds of assembly workers at $3.80/hour and they don’t have to pay North American prices for case metal, wood or things like knobs.

  7. I don’t think there are reasons to worry. Even if Moog goes belly up, someone will buy them. I am pretty sure Behringer wouldn’t mind owning this brand.

    1. Indeed. And it’s the Yanks that need ’em most. Certain other countries already have strong labor laws for many decades. By nature of their locality employees at Elektron, Nord, and Arturia probably already receive all the rights and terms Asheville workers are seeking through this motion.

      In any case if I was forced to live in a country ruled by billionaires, I’d prefer Monaco.

  8. Good for them. The U.S. is horrid with labor, and they should assert their rights to better pay. Yeah, Moogs are expensive, but I would gladly pay more for a synth knowing that the workers are in good shape.

    1. Moog employees own 49% of the company shares. That means they do not have any control of the company. The only thing they get is the ability to cash out their shares at a value set by the executive team when they leave the company.

  9. Thanks for covering this story! Unfortunately it seems like these two statements from Moog management are at odds with each other: “We respect that our employee-owners have the right to join a union, and we will not do anything to interfere with their right to do so.”

    AND

    “We have engaged outside resources to help ensure our company navigates the aforementioned union efforts legally and with proper guidance.”

    This sounds like they have hired a law firm to help them stiff-arm the union and force an NLRB vote. If they truly respected their employees they would grant the Moog Music Union and IBEW voluntary recognition through card check. Musicians and synth employers alike should stand in solidarity with the workers, online and on the picket line.

    1. Yeah, that second comment is code for we hired the services of a consulting company that specializes in union busting.

      1. It’s also possible that the company is simply saying, “We have no idea how to navigate the process of unionization and want to make sure we don’t screw up.”

  10. Moog are good folk. I love my Moogs. I only buy ethically produced gear. Looking forward to my next Moog. Would love to, one day, visit their factory.

  11. If you were to believe the internet, all electronic musicians and synth heads are woke liberal Metrosexuals, meeting if cafe’s and donating weekly to save the world.

    This is far from the truth and a ludicrous idea.
    The sooner people realise that liking synths or electronic music does NOT make us all the same, the better !

  12. Sold all my moog synths yesterday because Modern3 told me to, im now woke again. Good morning vietnam

    1. That actually made me laugh out loud in the real world !
      Jesus, I’ve spilt wine all over my Eno illuminated turntable.

  13. If you own part of a company, you are not only a worker, you are also an investor, which also means you have decided to take the risks as well as the benefits of such a company going well. Being in that position surpasses 9,999999999% of all workers out there. They are in a better position than most. The only reason this is of interest, is that this is moog we are talking about. Without him, they wouldn’t exist, that should be humbling enough…

  14. Paradoxically, the worker-shareholders are also fighting against their interests … the wage increase that perhaps they will receive, the majority shareholders will also pay with their profits sic!

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