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Former Nintendo employee says they were fired for union activity

Former Nintendo employee says they were fired for union activity

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A labor complaint alleges Nintendo engaged in employee surveillance in order to discourage unionization efforts

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Illustrations by Alex Castro / The Verge

Nintendo is the latest video game developer hit with allegations of union busting. In a report from Axios, a former employee alleges that Nintendo and its staffing and recruiting partner Aston Carter fired them after engaging in protected organizing activities.

In a filing with the National Labor Relations Board, a summary of the charges against Nintendo include:

  • Engaging in surveillance or creating the impression of surveillance of employees’ union activities
  • Discharging an employee for engaging in protected activities such as discussing wages and other terms and conditions of employment
  • Discharging an employee because they joined or supported labor organization

Nintendo isn’t the only video game company contending with the NLRB. Quality assurance employees at Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, recently formed their own union and are now waiting for a formal vote overseen by the NLRB. Activision Blizzard has been accused multiple times of union-busting after sending emails asking employees to “consider the consequences” of signing union cards and giving raises to every QA employee except those at Raven who are working toward unionization.

Outside of gaming, companies are starting to provide raises to employees in hopes of stemming the growing tide of unionization. Last week, Verizon shared that it would raise its minimum wage to $20 an hour shortly after a store in Seattle voted to unionize.

The NLRB will investigate these claims and decide if Nintendo is guilty of labor violations.