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First union in eBay’s history forms, retaliation soon follows

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Union Representation |

eBay has been around for 27 years, and its employees and the employees of its subsidiaries have never been unionized – until now.

TCGPlayer, the online marketplace that facilitates sales and shipments of collectible trading cards for games like “Pokemon” and “Magic: The Gathering,” unionized in March 2023 after a majority vote among the 272 workers. The new union is under the umbrella of the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

It didn’t take very long, however, for the first act of retaliation

According to the Communication Workers of America, TCGPlayer fired a worker merely one day after the TCGunion-CWA was formed. CWA considers this a purposeful act of retribution against the fired employee. This allegation comes on the heels of three additional unfair labor charges against TCGPlayer in the last two months.

The news probably isn’t surprising to anyone who has been following the unionization saga since 2022, when TCGPlayer’s employees first tried to unionize. After union busters defeated their initial attempt, employees started trying again in January 2023.

According to complaints by CWA and employees, the company’s opposition to a union was fierce. Employees were subjected to what has been characterized as an “escalated…anti-union war against workers” that included mandatory anti-union meetings, unnecessary monitoring of any employees who were openly supportive of the unionization efforts and interrogations about their activities or feelings about the unionization.

Per a spokesperson from CWA, “Not only are eBay and TCGplayer violating labor law, the company is undermining its workers’ rights to union representation, fair wages, dignity on the job and the ability to support their families” with their union-busting efforts.

Naturally, TCGPlayer denies the allegations, but it bears noting that many companies that claim to be “pro-worker” and very “anti-union.” When employees are simply asking for wages that keep pace with price inflation, reasonable sick leave policies and opportunities for advancement but companies would rather hire union busters and spend their energies (and dollars) into stopping unions from forming, it’s usually safe to say that a company is more invested in profits than its workforce.

No matter what an employer says, it’s their bottom line they value the most. Unions have successfully created a balance of power in the past, and they can do it again. Seeking legal guidance can help you to learn more.