Update (April 25, 2022 - 1:00 PM Eastern Time) Nintendo of America has provided a statement to TechRaptor that refutes the National Labor Relations Board complaint made against the company late last week.
Here is the statement from Nintendo:
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.
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.
Additionally, a Freedom of Information Act request has confirmed that an NLRB complaint has indeed been filed. However, the document is redacted and does not contain any substantial details beyond our original reporting.
Our original story continues below.
Nintendo of America and talent management company Aston Carter have been named in a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board from an unnamed person over alleged anti-union activities.
Unionization efforts in game development have been picking up steam in recent years. The United Paizo Workers was formed late last year in response to allegations of management misconduct. More recently, Raven Software announced that it was planning to unionize earlier this year. As one might expect, some companies are not fond of unionization efforts -- and a new NLRB filing alleges that Nintendo overstepped its bounds and violated the rights of an unnamed employee.
What the Nintendo NLRB Complaint Means
As Axios reports, the NLRB complaint has four specific allegations made against Nintendo and talent management company Aston Carter; this complaint was filed by an unnamed employee.
The allegations against Nintendo are as follows:
- 8(a)(3) Discharge (Including Layoff and Refusal to Hire (not salting))
- 8(a)(1) Coercive Statements (Threats, Promises of Benefits, etc.)
- 8(a)(1) Concerted Activities (Retaliation, Discharge, Discipline)
- 8(a)(1) Coercive Actions (Surveillance, etc)
The majority of these allegations are covered by the first part of Sec. 8 (Unfair Labor Practices) of the National Labor Relations Act:
Sec. 8. [§ 158.] (a) [Unfair labor practices by employer] It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer--
(1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7 [section 157 of this title];
The allegation of "discharge" is a separate portion of Sec. 8 which covers termination of employment due to any legal attempts to form or join a union.
Should these allegations prove to be true, the NLRB has a number of "make-whole" remedies available to compensate the terminated employee for the violation of the law.
Unfortunately, the specifics of this complaint are not available to the public. We've reached out to Nintendo, and Aston Carter for comment on these issues, but they did not immediately respond to comment. Additionally, we are seeking more information from the National Labor Relations Board about the details of the filing via a Freedom of Information Request. We will continue to follow this story, and update it as we receive more information.