Workers at the Bellevue location of Mox Boarding House, a chain of hybrid tabletop game store, restaurant and event centres owned by Card Kingdom, have announced their intentions to form a union with the Communication Workers of America. They have asked management for voluntary recognition by the end of June 24th.
In an open letter posted to Twitter on June 13th, the Bellevue Mox Organized Workers said they are joining the CWA, which is the largest communications and media labour union in the United States and represents journalists, print and digital media creators, flight attendants and tech workers, among others.
“We sincerely believe that gaming is, and must be, a campfire for all,” the letter reads. “As it stands, however, we do not feel a party to the warmth and protection of the campfire. Poor retention of staff at the ground level shows us that this is universal across all divisions of the company. We find ourselves crowded together splitting cramped apartments, working second jobs and splitting meals just to barely make rent.”
“Stories of being harassed, cornered and harshly judged by management have become normal,” the letter continues. “In our attempts to resolve these issues, if our efforts are outright ignored, we encounter stonewall tactics and numerous other forms of delays or denial.”
A list attached to the letter details the nascent union’s demands from Card Kingdom management, including a “genuine Seattle metro living wage” alongside annual cost of living raises, broader safety nets, restructured tipping procedures and severance for laid off employees. BMOW further stresses the need for more breaks to allow employees - especially those working the front of house - to rest and eat while on shift.
A minimum staff requirement per shift for the restaurant speaks to a growing dearth of workers in restaurants and food service positions across the US, with many businesses reducing hours or overworking remaining staff as a result. These businesses have historically low wages and poor work conditions, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation. When franchise owners refuse to raise wages or offer protection, many workers have not returned to work or moved on.
We, the workers of Mox Boarding House Bellevue, are announcing our unionization with the Communication Workers of America (CWA). We request voluntary recognition of our union by close of business on June 24, 2022.— Bellevue Mox Organized Workers (@BellevueMOW) June 13, 2022
Bellow is our letter on intent describing our needs and reasoning pic.twitter.com/iyEg5x6pOg
MBOW is the second unionisation effort to arise among Card Kingdom workers. Staff at the Magic: The Gathering retailer’s warehouses and shipping centres formed the Card Kingdom Union in late April and are currently preparing to vote in a 180-person union election. Staff members previously spoke with Dicebreaker about the unsafe conditions, systemic overworking and confusing policies within the company.
Bellevue Mox Organized Workers’ letter referenced the Card Kingdom Union, saying management’s “standing response to the efforts of CKU” have led them to immediately file for election with the National Labor Relations Board.
“Ultimately, we have chosen unionisation because we believe in our values, our shared space, and each other,” the letter reads. “We believe in that campfire, that shining beacon that we provide the world as much as we are able. We would just like to keep warm.”
Dicebreaker reached out to both Card Kingdom CEO John Morris and BMOW for comment but did not receive a reply.