German online game developer Goodgame Studios has been accused of misconduct by the United Services Union, which alleges the studio fired 28 employees after they attempted to form a worker's council.
The allegations have been made public by the Union's Hamburg chapter, which released a statement - translated by Google - over the weekend confirming that it believes there's a link between the planned council election and the unexpected layoffs.
"Since the spring of this year we were with several employees in contact in order to finally select a works council at Goodgame" said Union spokesperson, Gabriele Weinrich.
"That almost all those who have engaged in advance, will be terminated at the same time, speaks a clear language. Here the suspicion that an industry giant wants to attack the co-determination of employees. "
Goodgame has refuted the allegations in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, with the company's head of public affairs, Dirk Hensen, stating that the studio wasn't aware of any plans relating to the formation of a worker's council.
"After thorough examination, the Company decided to part with 28 employees from different departments for solely operational reasons," said Hensen.
"Contrary to statements from other sources, those layoffs are not related to plans of founding a workers' council, particularly since we did not know of a council election nor the planned appearance of a union representative at our offices on the 25th of November."