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Olivia Stock
1 November 2023, 11:55

Bandcamp United files unfair labour practices claim against Songtradr and Epic Games

The claim comes after almost half of the company’s staff were laid off last month

Bandcamp United files unfair labour practices claim against Songtradr and Epic Games

Bandcamp United, the employee union representing staff at the digital music platform and store, has filed an unfair labour practices claim with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Songtradr and Epic Games.

The filing comes after Songtradr’s acquisition of Bandcamp from Epic Games triggered mass layoffs at the music platform last month. The Fader reports that the union has now accused the two companies of violating the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935.

The layoffs, which took place on 16th October, put 58 Bandcamp employees, approximately half of its staff, out of work, including three out of six its editorial publication Bandcamp Daily’s non-management staff. According to the press release announcing the claim, seen by The Fader, the layoffs occurred four days after the committee met with Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire to “discuss the future of Bandcamp United at Songtradr.”

Explaim reports that in the claim filed on Sunday (29th October), the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 1010 affiliates pointed out that all eight members of the Bandcamp collective bargaining committee were laid off, as well as 40 of the 67 members of its collective bargaining unit.

According to The Fader, the union has made the following demands as part of the claim: “employment offers for all workers; clear, consistent, and equitable voluntary severance offers; and recognition of their union at Songtradr with a speedy continuation to bargaining, while maintaining all the progress that has been made at the table.”

The press release reportedly states that the collective bargaining committee “will return to the table with Epic Games management on November 9th to bargain over details of severance for those who have been laid off.”

Bandcamp United issued a statement following the sale of the platform to Songtradr by Epic, calling for the new owners to recognise the organisation and its members, and guarantee all employees new roles or appropriate redundancy packages. A petition was also started, asking for support from Bandcamp fans and users.

Read the full report and statements via The Fader.