Employees at Seattle-based Magic: The Gathering card seller Card Kingdom, who are seeking to join a union, claim they’ve not been allowed to share in the company’s success. According to the organisers of the Card Kingdom Union group, the MTG singles (single cards) market has greatly grown during the pandemic, but workers have not seen proportionate benefits.
“For the past two years, the employees of Card Kingdom have watched the Magic singles market explode in value, alongside a rise in cost-of-living and rent in the greater Seattle area,” the group tells Wargamer. “Our wages and benefits haven’t seen the same explosion.” They also claim that “wage caps and poor professional development result in planned obsolescence for many of our best employees.”
In their open letter to Card Kingdom, published on April 21, the unionisers allege that “our revenue hit a new peak during the past two years” and so the “notion that our wages and your ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) contributions are stunted due to the pandemic is blatantly false.” Their list of demands includes “the removal of wage caps and pay bands” and for employees “to share in the financial success of Card Kingdom”.
They’re also seeking greater transparency and flexibility. “[Card Kingdom] say they foster a community with good work-life balance, but that’s not the reality of our lives,” the group says.
Card Kingdom Union tells Wargamer: “After multiple attempts to give feedback in good faith through CK’s approved channels, it has become clear to us that the best way to create a fair and equitable workplace is by forming a union.”
Card Kingdom employees went public with their efforts to unionise on April 21, publishing an open letter to the company and starting a Change.org petition. They’re aiming to join the UFCW 3000, a large union which spans multiple states and represents workers in several industries, including retail and healthcare.
According to Card Kingdom founder John Morris: “company leadership is taking this matter very seriously and is currently working with legal counsel to determine the best way forward.” He says the company wants to “hear the voices and concerns” of its employees, will continue to embrace its “vision of a community-first gaming company”, and is seeking an “intentional, thoughtful, and employee-centred way forward.”
Card Kingdom Union tells Wargamer “We love our jobs. We love the work that we do, and we excel at it across the board. We demand to collectively bargain for better treatment in our workplace.”