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Fighting back against unionbusting at TCGplayer

Here's how we fought back against TCGplayer's union busting and won our union!

Captive Audience Meetings

TCGplayer management used their control over the worker’s schedule and workday to run captive audience meetings every week during the campaign, and every day towards the end of the campaign. Management used standing weekly company staff meetings to share anti-union talking points, and then held small group meetings with carefully chosen attendees- union supporters in their own group, and anti-union and unsure workers in other groups. The meetings were presented as sharing the facts about unions, but really shared misinformation and anti-union talking points, with management explicitly sharing that they opposed unionization. 

Workers took over these meetings to challenge the misinformation and show that only with a union would they have the power to win the changes they all needed in the workplace. For small group meetings where pro-union workers were isolated from other workers, they followed up one-on-one to check in and debrief the meeting together.

Misinformation and Company Communication Channels

Management used internal communication channels to share anti-union messaging. This included Slack, email, TVs, a special email address for workers to send questions to, and an employee-only internal website they made just for the anti-union campaign. Management made claims that workers would lose benefits in contract negotiations, negotiations have no time limit, “the CWA” is a divisive third-party that would disrupt the company culture, “the CWA” was putting pressure on workers and harassing them, 

Workers combatted this by sending out regular emails and mass text messages, putting statements on Slack, hosting general meetings for union supporters, taking lunches together to check in, and talking to each other one-on-one regularly. The Organizing Committee worked hard to make sure that they were connecting with their coworkers to prepare them for management’s tactics and support one another when things got hard.


One major part of management’s communication strategy was putting up posters. TCGplayer hired an anti-union law firm to help them run their union-busting campaign. The lawyer helped them to put together their anti-union campaign strategy and write the posters that went up on the walls and were shared on TVs in the workplace, with new ones going up almost every other day. These posters shared misinformation and were designed to confuse, intimidate, and overwhelm workers on every bulletin board and in the common spaces. They shared out of context quotes from NLRB cases and the CWA constitution, and used biased framing and language to scare workers out of unionizing.

Workers responded by making their own posters on the issues that caused them to unionize in the workplace and how a union could address the issues; creating their own solidarity-themed Yugi-Oh cards and stickers and putting them up on posters; and creating their own “Postivity Poster Wall” with posters celebrating and supporting each other through the stress and tension of the union-busting campaign.