CWA TCGunion members waiting on eBay to come to the negotiation table.
Source: TCGunion - CWA on Twitter

Labor Board Thwarts eBay’s Bid to Block TCGplayer Workers From Joining Union


On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined eBay’s request to overturn a vote held on March 10th, where workers at its subsidiary TCGplayer voted to join a union.

The board ruled that the company’s concerns did not present significant reasons to reconsider the outcome of the vote, which saw 136 workers in favor of joining the Communications Workers of America Local 1123, 87 opposed, and one ballot was considered void.

The voting took place at TCGplayer’s authentication center located on South Warren Street in Syracuse and marked a milestone as it became eBay’s first instance of workers successfully joining a union.

eBay’s Argument

eBay’s primary objection centered around 26 individuals referred to as “operations leads.” eBay contended that these employees should not have been allowed to partake in the voting process, as they were designated to be in supervisory roles before the election.

The company argued this made them ineligible for union membership since “employers are entitled to the loyalty of their supervisors, and [the] failure to determine such status prior to the election deprived TCGplayer of this important right.”

eBay expressed concerns that the presence of these Operations Leads tainted the vote’s integrity and urged the NLRB to nullify the results and conduct a new vote excluding these employees.

In response, the union asserted that the Operations Leads did not possess supervisory responsibilities, and therefore, their participation should not be considered a factor that influenced the outcome.

Additionally, the union pointed out that the margin of victory, which was 49 votes, was significant enough to mitigate any potential impact from the involvement of the Operations Leads.

During a rally held in Syracuse on July 31, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) accused eBay of attempting to delay the bargaining process for a labor agreement by pursuing the appeal to overturn the vote’s results.

Following the decision by the NLRB, on X, formerly known as Twitter, the union urged eBay “to join us at the bargaining table in good faith to negotiate our first union contract.” And it issued a warning, “The world is watching.”

But is eBay listening? It just acquired TCGplayer for $295 million last October, and the company probably didn’t expect this headache.

There are still some legal maneuvers available to eBay to continue its delay tactics, including shutting down the Syracuse business and moving TCGplayer operations to a so-called ‘Right to Work State’.

The State of New York is not one of them.

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