Employees at Magic: The Gathering card store Card Kingdom have voted to join a union. The result of their mail-in vote was announced by the National Labour Relations Board on July 26. Workers at the store in Seattle, Washington voted overwhelmingly in favour of union membership: the final result was 111 votes for, versus 16 against.
Card Kingdom is one of the largest MTG card sellers in the US and a major part of Magic: The Gathering’s ‘secondary market’. Its workers have now elected to be represented by UFCW 3000, a union organisation with over 50,000 members that spans multiple industries, from health to retail.
While it appears Card Kingdom let the union decision go to a ballot vote rather than giving voluntary recognition, the company says it welcomes the outcome. In a blogpost published on the evening of the result, Card Kingdom leadership wrote that it looks forward to negotiating a contract with the union. “We have great work ahead of us, and we are excited about the future of all employees,” it says.
The workers of Card Kingdom first made their union efforts public back in April, through an open letter on Medium alleging a “lack of empathy, lack of transparency and general mismanagement” on the part of Card Kingdom. A Change.org petition outlined their intention to unionise for better pay and working conditions.
The company’s unionising employees (going by the group name Card Kingdom Union) told Wargamer the MTG singles market had exploded during the pandemic, and Card Kingdom wages did not reflect this.
When Card Kingdom Union sought voluntary recognition from management back in May, CK founder and CEO John Morris said “the right to unionise is sacrosanct” and that leadership was “committed to approaching this request thoughtfully and with adherence to employee rights under US law”.
It seems the company did not recognise the union by May 16 as CKU requested, since the employees proceeded to file with the NLRB on May 17.
Now workers have voted to unionise, Card Kingdom’s blogpost has thanked those participating in the process, saying their voices “have revitalized many important discussions and will help prioritize how we move forward as a company”.
We have reached out to Card Kingdom Union for comment and will update this story when we receive a statement from the group.