Nov 1, 2023 2 min read

Bandcamp union files complaint with federal agency over redundancies

The Bandcamp United union has filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board after none of the eight Bandcamp employees who had been leading union negotiations with management were offered jobs by new owner Songtradr

Bandcamp union files complaint with federal agency over redundancies

The union of Bandcamp employees, Bandcamp United, has filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board in relation to the job cuts that occurred as the direct-to-fan company was sold by Epic Games to Songtradr. Only about half of the firm’s workforce will stay with the business under its new owner.

Bandcamp workers unionised during the eighteen months that the firm was owned by Epic Games. A team of eight elected members of the union began talks with management about addressing issues raised by employees and those talks were ongoing when the Songtradr acquisition was announced. None of the eight employees involved in those talks were offered jobs by Songtradr.

The complaint filed with the NLRB - an independent federal agency empowered to safeguard employees’ right - argues that, by declining to hire any of the members of the union's bargaining committee, Songtradr has discriminated against employees on the basis of their union activity.

KQED reports: "Employee union Bandcamp United … has filed a complaint against Songtradr and Epic Games with the National Labor Relations Board for laying off all eight bargaining committee members earlier this month. The union alleges discrimination on the basis of labor activity".

"In a statement", the report continues, "Bandcamp United said that it is calling for employment offers for all workers; equitable voluntary severance offers; and recognition of the union at Songtradr and a return to bargaining".

Neither Songtradr nor Epic have as yet responded to the complaint. However, when asked last month about the fact none of the eight union members leading the bargaining with Epic had been offered jobs, a Songtradr spokesperson told 404: “Songtradr had no access to union membership information and we executed our employment offer process with full consideration of all legal requirements".

“We carried out a comprehensive, full company evaluation that involved a detailed examination of each role", they added. "This evaluation considered several factors such as product groups, job functions, employee tenure, performance evaluations, the importance of roles for smooth business operations, and whether a similar function already existed at Songtradr including our experience of running it and associated requirements”.

Concurrent to the complaint filed with the NLRB, Bandcamp United is due to resume talks with Epic next week to negotiate a redundancy package for those Bandcamp employees who are not moving over to Songtradr.

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