Workers at an e-Bay owned company have voted to join a union, becoming the first group of US employees under the e-commerce site to unionize.
The news means that 272 TCGPlayer employees, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for collectible trading cards, are the first eBay workers to secure union representation in the US.
According to a press release(Opens in a new window) from the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union which now represents them, TCGPlayer workers first made attempts to unionize back in 2020 but were set back by the pandemic and, because of what CWA describes, a “disinformation” campaign by a law firm hired by the company.
In January this year, the workers recommenced their union-organizing attempts amid allegations that TCGPlayer tried to surveil employees who wore insignia that identified them as supporters of the union.
In three unfair labor practice charges filed by workers at the company, CEO Chedy Hampson is reported(Opens in a new window) to have threatened workers by giving them an ultimatum between being a member of the union or losing their job. In the filings, the company was further accused of forcing workers to attend anti-union meetings that were set up to discourage them from joining the union.
As Engadget notes(Opens in a new window), eBay purchased TCGPlayer in 2022 in a deal valued up to $295 million, and its main office is found in Syracuse, New York.
In a statement to CWA, Paul Neri, a worker at TCGPlayer said: “I joined the union effort at TCGPlayer because I wanted to raise up the voices of my peers and correct the existing imbalance of power.
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Neri added: “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever fought for, but knowing that my colleagues came out in droves to stand together against efforts to silence our voice and erase our collective power made the fight worth it. With our new union, we will be a united force for the betterment of our workplace and so many others.”
eBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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