eBay TCGPlayer Workers Continue Fight To Unionize

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


If you work at TCGPlayer, I'd love to chat! Anonymous tips welcome, confidentiality will absolutely be respected.
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The TCGunion Organizing Committee has sent a formal letter to eBay's board of directors requesting for the company to commit to a union neutrality agreement and respect the rights of the workers at eBay subsidiary trading card game marketplace TCGplayer.

According to an update from the Communications Workers of America, they have also filed additional unfair labor practices charges with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging continued interference with workers' rights to unionize.

Organizing Update
The latest organizing information for New Flyer, Alphabet Workers at Google and YouTube, Lake Michigan Credit Union, and TCGPlayer.

The organizing committee for TCGunion-CWA, representing workers at TCGPlayer, an online marketplace for trading card games and subsidiary of eBay, delivered a letter to eBay's Board of Directors this week demanding the company commit to a labor neutrality agreement.

The union urged the company to adhere to its Human Rights Policy which states eBay “...respects workers’ rights to unionize, and commits to bargain in good faith with any relevant associations or labor unions” by encouraging CEO Chedy Hampson to respect the rights of the workers by recognizing their union.

CWA has also filed a second unfair labor practice charge against TCGPlayer for illegally forcing employees to attend mandatory anti-union meetings to influence their decision about whether or not to join a union. Last month, TCGunion-CWA became the first group of eBay workers to file for a union representation election with CWA.

The full letter submitted to the eBay board can be found here.

Dear eBay Board Members,
We, the TCGunion-CWA Organizing Committee, are contacting you regarding the labor practices at one of your newest subsidiaries, TCGplayer. As you may know, a majority of employees of TCGPlayer recently announced our intention to form a union with the Communications Workers of America.

We love serving the trading card game community and being a part of the rapidly growing collectible authentication industry. We are committed to improving our workplace and to the spirit of collaborative, collective bargaining. Similarly, it is imperative that eBay move towards a more constructive and collaborative mode with its employees as well.

We are writing to ensure that you’re aware of the request we have made to TCGplayer leadership for the recognition of our union and to bargain in good faith with us and of the unfair labor practice charges that we have filed as a result of TCGPlayer management’s illegal interference in our union organizing efforts. We have presented TCGplayer leadership with a petition of support with signatures from the overwhelming majority of authentication services employees.

eBay’s Human Rights Policy Statement clearly states: “eBay also respects workers’ rights to unionize, and commits to bargain in good faith with any relevant associations or labor unions.”

eBay’s 2021 Impact Statement also states: “We aim to support, protect and promote fundamental human rights across our value chain, including those regarding wages, working hours, health and safety, freedom of association, non-discrimination, harassment prevention and the prevention of child, forced or bonded labor.”

We hope that eBay will adhere to its stated position and intervene to cease the behavior that is not in accordance with eBay’s policy that it puts forth to its employees, vendors, customers, and shareholders. By living up to its values, eBay would not be alone in the tech industry: Microsoft has announced that it will remain neutral on whether its employees organize a union and that it will bargain collaboratively with its employees that decide to join CWA.

During our organizing effort, TCGPlayer management has violated the National Labor Relations act by:

    1. Unlawfully surveilling union activity and creating an impression of surveillance designed to interfere with, restrain and coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Within the past two weeks, multiple TCGplayer supervisors and managers, including CEO Chedy Hampson, have patrolled the floor of the authentication center, taking note of employees who have worn any clothes or insignia identifying them as supporters of TCGunion-CWA. On January 27th, we filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board regarding this matter.
    1. Compelling employees to attend captive audience meetings. Forcing employees to attend meetings in order to influence their decision about whether or not to join a union is also a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and we will be filing a charge about this as well.

We demand that all actions of this kind cease and eBay commit to a union neutrality agreement and respect the rights of the workers at TCGplayer. Under a neutrality agreement, in order to ensure a free and fair election, eBay and TCGPlayer management would:

    1. Respect our right to make our own decisions by refraining from unfairly influencing the election by sharing misleading, anti-union information with employees and posting anti-union flyers;
    1. End your relationship with Littler Mendelson, a notoriously aggressive union-busting law-firm;
    1. Refer all questions on the union to the TCGunion-CWA Organizing Committee

We request that you respect the decision of the majority of TCGPlayer employees to join our union by encouraging CEO Chedy Hampson to accept our union through card check and voluntary recognition so we can begin to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, a process we believe will strengthen the company.

TCGunion Organizing Committee
Communications Workers of America

TCGunion announced their intentions to petition to form a union with the support of CWA on January 25, 2023. If successful, they will be the first union in eBay history.

eBay’s TCGplayer Authenticators File Union Petition & NLRB Charges
Authentication workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer petition to form a union with support from Communications Workers of America.

For those who want to follow the progress of both the petition and subsequent complaint filings, here are the relevant NLRB cases:

January 25, 2023 - Case 03-RC-310876 - original petition.

January 27, 2023 - Case 03-CA-311055 - unfair labor practices charge, alleging 8(a)(1) Coercive Actions (Surveillance, etc).

February 6, 2023 - Case 03-CA-311560 - unfair labor practices charge, alleging 8(a)(1) Coercive Actions (Surveillance, etc).

Stay tuned for updates and let us know in the comments below what you think of TCGPlayer workers' unionizing efforts!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!