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MTG Card Kingdom employee calls for boycott

A Card Kingdom employee took to Reddit to complain about working conditions at the Magic: The Gathering store, and the company has responded.

MTG card kingdom - a flying snake monster

MTG card store Card Kingdom has released an official statement in response to a Reddit post, apparently by a disgruntled employee, which called for Magic: The Gathering fans to boycott the company’s preorders.

The initial post, published by user cootie_ray to Magic: The Gathering subreddits on February 26, alleges that Card Kingdom overworks its employees, that it makes workers spend their paid time off when sick, and that as a result of “horrible” working conditions, turnover is extremely high. Card Kingdom responded later that day, and denied some of these claims.

For instance, according to the employee, Card Kingdom requires two weeks of mandatory overtime during each prerelease period. They say that many workers put in 60-hour weeks for multiple consecutive MTG set releases. This seems to be the main thrust of their argument, and the reason for their proposed boycott, as they say buying preorders “tells the CK executives that they should require more overtime hours.”

However, Card Kingdom’s official statement denies the claim of 60-hour working weeks. The company explains that “we ask employees to work no more than ten hours in addition to their regular schedule”, that any hours worked beyond 40 receive overtime pay, and that working hours are capped at 50.

MTG card kingdom - art from Wilds of Eldraine showing Eriette the witch

Of course, there’s some pressure applied by the much-maligned rapid MTG release schedule here, too. The employee says “Wizards of the Coast has increased the rate of releases and that means two weeks mandatory overtime with less and less time in between.”

The anonymous employee cites some improvements to working conditions since Card Kingdom unionized two years ago, explaining that: “we finally were able to stop Card Kingdom from taking our PTO away from us if we couldn’t work overtime.” However, they also say currently “you cannot take a sick day if you do not have PTO” and that workers will face disciplinary action if they call in sick without PTO.

Card Kingdom’s statement: “We do require that PTO is applied to time off,” perhaps tellingly, does not refute this claim, the company instead stating that its policy “aligns with both our union contract and Washington labor laws.”

The responses on social media to both the initial complaint and Card Kingdom’s statement run the complete range. Some users say they’ll never shop at Card Kingdom again (one Twitter user called the company’s statement “a confession”) while others have accused the employee of hyperbole.

Wargamer has reached out to both Card Kingdom and Card Kingdom Union to see if we can provide further context or details.

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