A new labor complaint has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board against Nintendo and contract hiring agency Aston Carter. The second complaint this year, it accuses the Mario publisher of interfering with “concerted activities” of workers, including possible retaliation and coercion. It comes months after dozens of current and former employees complained about exploitative working conditions at Nintendo of America.
As first reported by Axios, the complaint was filed on August 7 against Nintendo and Aston Carter as joint employers. The allegations listed include “concerted activities (retaliation, discharge, discipline)“ and “coercive rules.” While vague, both pertain to Section 7 and Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. The first part ensures workers’ right to unionize or self-organize for “mutual aid and protection.” The second part makes it illegal for companies to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees” from exercising those rights.
Nintendo and Aston Carter were accused of labor violations back in April as well. The public complaint included allegations of coercion, surveillance, and retaliation. Four sources familiar with the incident told Kotaku it directly stemmed from a contract employee asking a question about unions at a meeting and later being fired over a seemingly borderline violation of their NDA. Nintendo said in a statement at the time that there were no “attempts to unionize or related activity,” and that the employee had been terminated for disclosing confidential information “and for no other reason.”