Ex-Nintendo Employee Speaks Out Over Developer’s Alleged Union-Busting


A former Nintendo employee has come forward to explain their side of the story regarding the labor complaint against the gaming giant.

The anonymous ex-Nintendo employee who made headlines with their labor complaint in April is now speaking out over Nintendo’s alleged union-busting. Lately, unionization has been a huge topic of conversation in the video game industry. To combat a toxic work environment with long hours and unsatisfactory working conditions, some employees have turned to unionizing, sometimes meeting resistance from the companies they work for in the process.

Just this past spring, a former employee accused Nintendo of union-busting practices. The unknown worker filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board of the United States that accused Nintendo and one of its hiring firms of coercing employees out of joining unions. Information spread that both companies reportedly made threats towards, bribed, and/or terminated employees to dissuade them from joining any union. In doing so, the ex-employee claims that Nintendo was violating their legally protected right to unionize.


Related: Nintendo ROM Site Ordered To Destroy All Games After Lawsuit

Now the ex-employee who filed the complaint has come forward with their name. Stephen Totilo of Axios sat down with former Nintendo employee Mackenzie Clifton for an interview explaining their side of the story. According to Clifton, Nintendo’s contracting firm Aston Carter had the employee fired in February in response to Clifton asking management what Nintendo of America thinks about the recent trend of unionization in QA. Clifton’s experience mirrors other reports of Nintendo’s terrible workplace culture. Other past employees have painted a picture of Nintendo taking advantage of contract and part-time employees and having extremely strict attendance policies where workers were discouraged from being away from their desk for any reason, including using the restroom. All of these testimonies were compiled in an exhaustive report this past May.

The Labor Complaint Against Nintendo Now Has More Credibility

Nintendo maintains that Clifton’s termination had nothing to do with unions and was because the tester allegedly disclosed confidential information. The ex-employee states in the interview that when they pressed supervisors for proof of their violation, Clifton was referred to one of their tweets about working on a game. However, from the tweet, it is impossible to glean what game Clifton was referring to. The former tester believes that the tweet was really an excuse to fire them for broaching the topic of unionizing.

The company is no stranger to lawsuits; Nintendo has successfully sued ROM websites in the past. But this is a legal problem that won’t be easily solved. Clifton’s complaint against Nintendo holds greater credibility now that they came forward with their name. Time will tell what becomes of Clifton’s labor complaint against Nintendo, but those who work in the video game industry will surely be watching to see what the outcome is.

Next: Nintendo Files Lawsuit Against Pirate Ring Run By Bowser

Source: Stephen Totilo/Twitter, Axios


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