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MTG seller TCGPlayer strikes deal with terminated workers

TCGPlayer and eBay must pay a settlement to former workers, but the MTG marketplace’s parent company says it “did not violate the law”.

MTG TCGPlayer settlement - Wizards of the Coast promo art for Outlaws of Thunder Junction

A press release from March 12 confirms that MTG marketplace TCGPlayer will pay “a significant settlement” to former employees. The settlement is a result of Unfair Labor Practice charges filed by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union in 2023. The charges accused TCGPlayer, and its parent company eBay, of unlawful termination, refusal to recognize the union, and obstruction of union practices.

CWA first filed Unfair Labor Practice charges in July last year, saying in a press conference at the time that the action came due to “eBay’s continued efforts to sabotage organized workers and ignore their basic right to organize”. TCGPlayer workers originally unionized in March 2023, six months after eBay acquired the TCG trading website.

Things apparently haven’t been peaceful since the union vote, however. Tuesday’s press release is one of several shared by CWA in recent memory accusing TCGPlayer and eBay of unfair practices. This particular announcement comes with claims that eBay and TCGPlayer denied workers union representation in meetings, threatened to discipline union workers unfairly, and changed employment conditions without bargaining with TCGPlayer’s recently recognized union.

“Two TCGPlayer workers who were unlawfully fired will receive significant payments and others will be compensated for lost sick pay”, says CWA. “TCGunion-CWA and eBay/TCGPlayer are currently negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement.” Bargaining will apparently focus on the wages and benefits given to TCGPlayer employees.

When asked for comment, an eBay spokesperson told Wargamer: “TCGPlayer and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have resolved all pending Unfair Labor Practice charges filed by the CWA with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)”. “Importantly, the NLRB did not find that TCGPlayer violated the law nor did it find that TCGPlayer failed to meet any of its obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.”

“Looking ahead, TCGPlayer remains committed to the bargaining process and reaching a collective bargaining agreement with the CWA that positions the Company for growth and success, and enables it to attract and retain outstanding team members.”

Former TCGPlayer Generalist Iris St. Lucy says: “I’m elated that TCGPlayer and eBay are being held accountable for their decision to terminate me, which has been a substantial financial burden on me for the last year”. “It also set a chilling example for my coworkers of the lengths some will go to make sure we don’t get a seat at the table.”

“This settlement demonstrates how important it is for workers to have a union to fight for us when our rights are violated, and that the law can be a tool of the working class and not just a bludgeon to be used against us.”

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