Earlier this year, we saw the allegation of a Nintendo worker regarding union-busting claims. The claimant talked about how the company fired them in February because they asked Nintendo Management about unions. Fast forward to today, and the claimant has stepped up to the public as Mackenzie Clifton to speak with Axios about Nintendo's alleged union-busting methods.
Clifton told Axios that they were fired as a result of asking about Nintendo of America's thoughts on the unionization trend in QA that's been seen in the industry as of late. This happened during a meeting for hundreds of Nintendo testers back in January. While Clifton's question wasn't answered in the meeting, a supervisor from Aston Carter called them, saying that his question was a "downer" and telling him to direct such inquiries to the contracting firm, not Nintendo.
Shortly afterward, Clifton was fired from the company. Clifton then filed a labor complaint in February alleging that their employers had interfered with their federally protected rights to discuss unionization without fearing retaliation. Since Clifton's NLRB complaint made headlines, several workers spoke out, saying that Nintendo consigns hundreds of crucial workers in its game-testing, customer service, and even game-writing teams to precarious and stressful temporary deals. All while treating them like "Second-class citizens."
Nintendo still sticks to its story regarding Clifton's accusation, stating that the reason behind Clifton's dismissal amounts to them being let go due to publicly disclosing "confidential information." The company has also stated that they looked into the accusations and took them seriously. However, neither the company nor its contracting firms have spoken publicly about its widespread use of contractors.
Axios's piece ends with Clifton's reasoning behind their decision to file a complaint against Nintendo and Aston Carter. They believe that the decision was more to show the world and their former coworkers that something like a union would be beneficial and maybe even necessary in the coming years. Some companies definitely share Clifton's vision, but there still is a long way to go for this to be the future of the gaming industry.