Bandcamp union files unfair labour practice claim against Songtradr and Epic Games

today01/11/2023 3

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Bandcamp United, the union established in May to represent employees of the digital record store, has filed an unfair labour practice claim against Songtradr and Epic Games.

The union claims that both companies violated the 1935 National Relations Act (NLRA) through unfair labor practices.

The NLRA protects the fundamental right of private-sector employees to seek better working conditions and designation of representation without fear of retaliation.

Read this next: Half of Bandcamp’s staff let go following Songtradr acquisition

Songtradr completed its purchase of Bandcamp from previous owners Epic Games in September, and triggered layoffs for roughly half otf he company’s staff including three out of its in-house publication Bandcamp Daily’s six non-management staff, eight elected members of the union’s collective bargaining commitee and 40 of the 67 union’s collective bargaining unit.

Songtradr spokesperson Lindsay Nahmiache asserted that the layoffs had been made following a “comprehensive evaluation” which considered the importance of roles for “smooth business operations and pre-existing functions at Songtradr”.

Bandcamp United have highlighted how Bandcamp’s Black employees were disproportionately affected by the lay offs, as reflected by the graphic below.

After Songtradr communicated to staff their impending layoffs on October 16, Epic Games confirmed to Vulture that these dismissals were not “new”, implying that decisions regarding mass redundancies had already been made prior to Songtradr’s acquisition

Read this next: Epic Games to sell Bandcamp 18 months after acquisition

Weeks before the layoffs, Bandcamp United had published its demands to Songtradr, calling for employment offers and equitable, voluntary severance for all workers and a recognition of the union with speedy continuation of bargaining.

The union has now filed a complaint against Songtradr and Epic Games with the National Relations Board (NLRB) for laying off its whole bargaining committee. Bandcamp United alleges discrimination on the basis of labor activity.

Tibor Heskett is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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