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(SYRACUSE, NY) — A majority of workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer won their union election on Friday, March 10 and will be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1123. TCGPlayer is one of the largest online marketplaces for verification services, card games, comics, and collectible trading cards. It was acquired by eBay in November 2022. The workers, known as TCGUnion-CWA, are the first group of eBay workers to win union representation in the U.S.
“We are ready to take on a more active role in determining the conditions of our work to ensure a better quality of life for ourselves, and a better quality of service for our customers. We’re excited to finally have a seat at the table, a real voice on the job, and the protections provided by our union to ensure fairness and dignity in the workplace,” said Jennifer Bonham, a worker at TCGPlayer. “We strongly believe that by joining together to form our union we can make TCGplayer a more equitable workplace where Authentication Center workers can thrive for years to come.”
In 2020, workers at TCGPlayer made attempts to form a union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The company quickly countered those efforts by hiring notorious union-buster Littler Mendelson to spread disinformation and in the last weeks leading up to the election, workers pulled their petition with the National Labor Relations Board due to the pandemic. In January 2023, workers at TCGPlayer restarted their organizing and filed for a union election with CWA, becoming the first group of eBay workers in the U.S. to seek formal recognition. Despite the onslaught of attacks and multiple labor violations from the company, workers did not back down and voted in favor of joining the union.
The union-represented group will include all 272 non-supervisory workers within TCGPlayer’s authentication center, including Generalists and Specialists across the Sorting, Pulling, Receiving, Shipping, Operations, Research and Development, Inventory, Comics, Quality, and Training departments. These workers are physically responsible for ensuring that every shipment in and out of TCGPlayer is completed accurately and that they match quality standards.
"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,” said Paul Neri, a worker at TCGPlayer. “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.”
Last week, CWA filed an unfair labor practice against TCGPlayer accusing the company of interfering with, restraining and coercing employees engaging in protected and concerted union activity. In addition, TCGUnion-CWA is currently waiting to hear from the NLRB on several unresolved unfair labor practice charges which include the surveillance of employees who wore insignia identifying them as supporters of the union by TCGPlayer managers, as well as illegally forcing employees to attend mandatory anti-union meetings to influence their decision about whether or not to join a union.
Follow TCGUnion-CWA at @TCGUnionCWA
The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada. CODE-CWA is a project of the Communications Workers of America which represents hundreds of thousands of workers throughout tech, media, telecom, and other industries who stand together to fight for justice on the job and in our communities.