Ustwo Games — developers of the critically-acclaimed mobile title Monument Valley — has been accused of union-busting over the dismissal of programmer Austin Kelmore.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has announced that they are going to be taking legal action against Ustwo games over what they allege is the "victimisation of a leading trade union activist".
According to the IWGB, Mr. Kelmore was questioned by management over his activity of promoting unions at work, primarily by inviting a group of Ustwo employees to a meeting where they could discuss their rights. He later found himself suspended with pay until his employment would be terminated.
The IWGB alleges that Ustwo Games has violated the law by firing him over his trade union activity. Moreover, they allege that Ustwo has breached Sections 146 and 152 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and Section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 by refusing to allow him to bring a union rep with him to the discliplinary meeting which led to his dismissal.
Ustwo Games Responds, Denies Union Busting
ustwo, for their part, have responded to these accusations with a denial that Austin Kelmore was fired over his union activity.
"Austin Kelmore will be leaving Ustwo Games in the near future for reasons unconnected to his membership of a trade union or his undertaking trade union activities," read a statement on the company's Twitter account. "We have other employees who are members of trade unions and we respect the right of our employees to unionise. There are inaccuracies and omissions in what has been stated by IWGB which are misleading. However, to respect our employees' privacy it is not appropriate for us to comment further on this matter."
"Ustwo Games has been, and will continue to be, committed to diversity and inclusivity," the statement concluded. "We work hard to build a supportive work environment for all our employees."
The IWGB has given Ustwo until tomorrow, October 4, 2019, to reverse their dismissal of Austin Kelmore before they launch legal proceedings.
What do you think of Ustwo Games dismissing Austin Kelmore? Do you think they were motivated by his union activities? Let us know in the comments below!