A worker has accused Nintendo and staffing agency Aston Carter of violating the National Labor Relations Act, according to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) docket second publication. Axios is first reported complaint.
Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers are legally protected from forming unions and self-organizing. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Washington, names both Nintendo and Aston Carter, a staffing company that Nintendo apparently uses to hire employees in contract positions. The unnamed worker alleges that Nintendo and Aston Carter engaged in “coordinated activities,” such as retaliation, dismissal, refusal to hire or organized worker discipline; “Coercive actions”, such as supervision of such workers; and “coercive claims,” such as threats or promises of benefits. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 to protect workers from unfair labor practices related to the organization’s efforts.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday. Details included in these documents are not immediately released – only to the public. Nintendo did not respond to Polygon’s request for comment.
Nintendo of America is headquartered in Redmond, Washington and is a subsidiary of the Japanese company Nintendo. Nintendo as a whole has 27 subsidiaries and over 6,500 employees, according to the Corporate Responsibility report published in 2021. Like other video game companies, Nintendo sometimes relies on contract labor for certain development positions.
With this lawsuit, Nintendo of America joins a growing number of major video game companies that have been accused of recent labor violations. NLRB is now Labor dispute litigation between the leadership of Activision Blizzard and the quality assurance (QA) workers at its subsidiary Raven Software. Raven Software QA Officer announced their intention to merge this early year; Those employees, which call themselves the Game Workers Union, are awaiting a procedural decision from the NLRB ahead of a formal vote to incorporate.
The latest NLRB lawsuit comes at a time when video game workers are pushing for unification. Last year, Beast Breaker developer Vodeo Games became the first certified game studio union in North America after voluntary approval by management. In 2020, the game writers contracted to Voltage Entertainment went on strike and won, after 21 days without official union recognition – The first company for the video game industry. And in the board game industry, Workers United Paizo and Cards against those who work for humanity United unionize in 2021 and 2020, respectively.