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Employees at MTG retailer Card Kingdom unionise for better pay and company transparency

"Management openly admits that our current system is broken, and yet there are no offers for solutions."

Card Kingdom workers are pursuing membership with a large Washington-based union, according to a public letter published on April 21st. Members claim Card Kingdom’s mismanagement and “lack of empathy” regarding employee pay and benefits necessitated a trip to the bargaining table.

Card Kingdom is one of the biggest Magic: The Gathering resellers, offering singles as well as merchandise related to the trading card game. The Seattle-based company is a primary piece of MTG’s secondary market, but employees have unionised under the name Card Kingdom Union because they feel that success has not led to better conditions or wages for the majority of its staff.

“We acknowledge the hurdles faced in recent years; however, this notion that our wages and your ESOP contributions are stunted due to the pandemic is blatantly false,” the letter reads. “Our revenue hit a new peak during the past two years. Our wages, benefits, and ESOP contributions do not reflect this. Management openly admits that our current system is broken, and yet there are no offers for solutions.”

Card Kingdom Union is seeking membership with UFCW 3000, a chartered union organisation encompassing several industries - including grocers, retail and health care. A Change.org petition is currently collecting signatures in support of CKU’s creation and affiliation, which has over 3,200 signatures at time of writing.

The list of demands put forth by the employees include living wages, the removal of wage caps and a “commitment to future wage increases.” It also includes an employee wellness benefits program, the ability to take unpaid time off and flexibility in scheduling work time. The workers want to be more involved in policy decision-making within Card Kingdom, especially where it affects their jobs, and there’s a general call for overhauling the existing policies.

What exactly these policies entail is not included in the letter, but an earlier paragraph mentions a “campfire capitalism” mindset that does not match the company’s professed values. “We are asking to be treated with the same respect and care you would show to an external shareholder. We want to be given the same relevant information,” the letter says.

As reported by Wargamer, Card Kingdom's executives have not explicitly endorsed nor condemned the move to unionise. Owner and co-founder John Morris told Wargamer that his company strives to listen to its employees' concerns. "Efforts to unionise and any company responses to such efforts are complex and bound by federal laws and regulations. These conversations take time and require complete information and understanding," he said.

Dicebreaker has reached out to both Card Kingdom and the Card Kingdom Union but did not receive a response before publication.

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Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.