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Employees at Epic-owned music platform Bandcamp are unionizing

Comprised of all of Bandcamp staff across the US, Bandcamp United has called on its leadership and parent company Epic Games to willingly recognize that it exists.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 16, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for Bandcamp's worker-led union, Bandcamp United.

Bandcamp, the popular music platform owned by Epic Games, announced its entire staff is unionizing

Known as Bandcamp United, it's said to cover all of the US-based workers (who aren't management or supervisors) across every department in the company. Unionizing will let its workers dictate their own working conditions, and allow them "power to hold Bandcamp accountable to the independent artists and labels who use it."

Notably, the group is affiliated with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU). Several game-related unions partner with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), but data analyst Eli Rider explained to Rolling Stone that OPEIU's union track record made it a good for fit for Bandcamp.

In that same interview, Rider pointed out how OPEIU was mindful of "preventing burnout in their organizers." While most unions have had a good relationship with the CWA, that hasn't been the case for everyone. 

Epic Games first acquired Bandcamp in 2022, and the platform has previously billed itself as an alternative to tech giants like iTunes or Spotify. Bandcamp United further called on both Bandcamp and the leadership of its parent company to voluntarily recognize its existence in order to "grant us a fair and timely election."

"The music and tech industries are at a juncture, and it’s time that we as workers have a seat at the table to weigh in on the challenges and opportunities of this moment," the union wrote. "Bandcamp United is powered by us: designers, journalists, support staff, engineers, and more, all dedicated to the mission of Bandcamp."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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