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Nintendo of America and staffing partner Aston Carter were accused of quashing unionization chatter, but have been told to remind workers of their right to organize.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

October 13, 2022

2 Min Read

Former Nintendo of America QA worker Mackenzie Clifton has reached a settlement with the firm after filing a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint against the company and staffing partner Aston Carter in April 2022.

Clifton, who recently stepped forward in an interview with Axios, accused both Nintendo of America and Aston Carter of taking "concerted" and "coercive"  action to stifle unionization efforts, and alleged they were fired because they asked Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser for the company's thoughts on uniionzation during a Q&A session.

Now, according to settlement documents obtained by Polygon, Aston Carter has agreed to take liability for the NLRB charge and pay Clifton $29.910 in back pay, damages, and interest.

Notably, the settlement means Nintendo must inform QA workers of their rights to organize and bargain collectively with their employers under the National Labor Relations Act. Nintendo of America must communicate those rights to workers via email, and by posting a notice within its office.

The notice that Nintendo has been told to print and post on an official notice board specifically tells workers that they have the right to "form, join, or assist a union," and reiterates that they cannot be stopped from talking about a union.

"The National Labor Relations Act gives you the right to: Form, join or assist a union; choose a representative to bargain with us on your behalf; act together with employees for your benefit and protection; choose not to engage in any of these protected activities," it must read.

"We will not interfere with, restrain or coerce you in the exercise of the above rights. You have the right to talk about a union, and we will not stop you from talking about a union.

"We will not fire you because you exercise your right to raise issues and complaints to us on behalf of yourself or other employees, including related to the topic of unionisation. We will not fire you because of your union membership or support."

Unionization has become huge talking point within the games industry. In recent months, QA workers at two Activision Blizzard subsidiaries, Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, have unionized under the Game Workers Alliance banner.

As it stands, Activision Blizzard is refusing to voluntarily recognise the Blizzard Albany union, and is still attempting to hash out a collective bargaining agreement with unionizing Raven QA staff.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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