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Nintendo denies firing worker over unionization attempt

Axios reported on Tuesday that an anonymous worker filed a labor complaint against Nintendo of America and staffing agency Aston Carter last Friday, accusing them of violating their legally protected right to organize a union and fired them for their attempts to do so. Today, the gaming giant, which was previously immune to the labor scandals other gaming companies are currently embroiled in, released a statement denying it has fired the employee over their unionization attempt.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published the docket on Monday, detailing a list of allegations the worker made in the complaint about Nintendo and Aston Carter, which hires workers in contract positions, engaging in “concerted activities” and taking “coercive actions” to interfere with their efforts to unionize. The allegations include retaliation, making threats or promises of benefits, surveillance of union activities (or creating the impression of surveillance), and either a layoff or refusal to hire.

According to Polygon, Nintendo addressed the complaint in a statement issued by a representative, saying that it fired the contract worker for discussing pay, not for the reasons the worker claimed. “We are aware of the claim, which was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a contractor who was previously terminated for the disclosure of confidential information and for no other reason. Nintendo is not aware of any attempts to unionize or related activity and intends to cooperate with the investigation conducted by the NLRB,” the statement reads. “Nintendo is fully committed to providing a welcoming and supportive work environment for all our employees and contractors. We take matters of employment very seriously.”

The complaint against Nintendo comes on the heels of other unionization efforts across the gaming industry in recent months. Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard granted full-time employment status, as well as a wage increase, to over 1,000 temporary and contract QA testers at Raven Software, but denied raises to unionized testers. Back in December, Vodeo Games became the first gaming company in North America to form a fully recognized union, representing both full-time employees and contract workers.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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