Bargaining Update #4 – 11/16/2023

Snapshot Summary

  • Win! We were able to reach our second tentative agreement during the bargaining process! We reached consensus on our Duration clause!
  • Union proposals: Duration, Savings, Management Rights, Company Policies and Procedures, No Strike/No Lockout, Bulletin Boards, Non-Discrimination, Employee Classifications, Reduced Work Schedules, Union Membership, Payroll Deduction of Union Dues, and Political Action Fund Deductions
  • TCGplayer proposals: Lockers, Visitation, and Individual Agreements
  • Take action: Our Union is taking to the picket line to let TCGplayer know that we are serious about getting our first contract! If you haven’t already signed up for a timeslot to join our Informational Picket, follow the link below. Stand side by side with your friends and co-workers on 11/29!

Full Report

On November 16, we had our fourth bargaining session to continue negotiating our first contract. Our Committee for this session consisted of workers Bob Guy, Briana Thomas, Ethan Salerius, CWA Local 1123 President Chris Ryan, and CWA District 1 Area Director Deb Hayes.

We continued to set the pace at this session, with a total of 12 bargaining items, between counter-proposals based on TCGplayer’s proposals, and several new proposals of our own. Contrasting this, TCGplayer’s bargaining team brought 3 proposals with them to the table. While we find the disparity in the amount of work each side is putting into these negotiations disappointing to say the least, we will continue our commitment to a thorough, detail-oriented bargaining strategy that ensures everyone’s rights in the workplace are protected.

Our Proposals

Our Union has put forward 7 counter-proposals to TCGplayer’s own proposals from previous bargaining sessions, as well as 5 brand new proposals, for a total of 12.

Counter Proposals

  • Duration: REACHED TENTATIVE AGREEMENT! This proposal is intended to set the duration of the contract and to create a mechanism for either side to request to bargain the next contract.
  • Savings: If a provision within the contract is in contradiction with the law, the affected provision will be amended in accordance with the law and the rest of the contract will remain in full force and effect. 
  • Management’s Rights: This proposal intends to outline those items held to be the exclusive rights of TCGplayer and its management. Their bargaining team had originally carved out a lengthy list of 29 items, many of which we intend to bargain over. We returned a counter-proposal for Management Rights that encompasses only those items initially proposed that we have no interest in negotiating over, and simplified the language of the proposal overall. 
  • Company Policies and Procedures: This is our counter to management’s Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures from the previous session. While these are commonplace in most union contracts, we cleaned up the language, and added provisions by which employees will be both consulted on, and notified in advance of any process change that impacts work done in the AC, as well as providing concrete time frames for these. (Discussed within 14 days of announcement with the union, members notified 14 days before implementation of new process)
  • No Strike/No Lockout: This counter was broadly simplified as a promise from our union not to organize a strike or other form of work stoppage for the lifetime of our contract, in exchange for a promise from the company that they will not lock out workers for the life of the contract, shedding a great deal of management’s overreaching language that sought to prevent our union from engaging in legally protected collective action.
  • Bulletin Boards: Our counter-proposal here provides for a union bulletin board in each of the 3 break rooms in the AC, as well as electronic posting on Slack or another form of electronic posting within the workplace.
  • Non-Discrimination: While we remain in agreement on the scope, and the kinds of discrimination that are covered by this clause, we added language that would empower Stewards to facilitate the reporting process for discrimination incidents in the workplace.

New Proposals

  • Employee Classification: (NEW!) This brief article covers who is considered a Full Time employee (30-40 hours a week) and who is considered a Part Time employee (20-29 hours a week).
  • Reduced Work Schedule: (NEW!) This article is very similar to the existing TCGplayer policy of allowing for voluntary reduced work schedules. This is one of many articles that will look identical to existing company policy, as we bargain to ensure that we don’t lose any benefits that our members currently enjoy.
  • Union Membership: (NEW!) This article covers the time frame that employees will be expected to either sign up for union membership, or arrange for agency fee payments. Union members are expected to maintain their membership for the life of the contract.
  • Payroll Deduction of Union Dues: (NEW!) This article provides a mechanism for TCGplayer to withhold union dues from paychecks (in a very similar way that they withhold for taxes or employee contribution towards benefits).
  • Political Action Fund Deductions: (NEW!) As above, provides a mechanism to withhold funds from paychecks, this time to facilitate a VOLUNTARY contribution to the union’s committee on political education, that may be revoked at any time.

Management’s Proposals

Management’s bargaining team regrettably came to the table with significantly less than last time. They had a counter for us on Lockers, as well as new proposals on Visitation and Individual Agreements.

  • Lockers: Their counter-proposal focused on maintaining the ability to quickly execute a search of lockers in the event of an emergency. This included restricting the role of Shop Stewards in searches, unless the employee is unavailable to supervise the search. They also added that lockers must be requested, rather than assigned automatically.
  • Visitation: This article governs the procedure for how the company will handle visiting representatives of our union, who are not otherwise TCGplayer employees. The language they chose here is highly restrictive, isolating them to a single office on the first floor away from where the bulk of our union members do their work.
  • Individual Agreements: This very brief article is easiest to simply repost in its entirety. “The Company shall not enter into any agreement or contract with employees, individually or collectively, which in any way conflicts with the terms and provisions of this Agreement, except as amended by the Company and the Union.” In short, it means the company promises not to make side deals with members of the union.

We have done a lot of great work in pursuit of our first contract, but there is still so much more that needs to be done. If we want TCGplayer to help move this process forward, we need to let them know that we’re out here, that we’re serious, and that we won’t be ignored! 

Sign up and join us for Informational Picketing at TCGplayer HQ! By joining with your fellow union members on the picket line, you can help send a strong message to TCGplayer—we want a CONTRACT NOW. Sign up with the link below!

If you haven’t signed our unity pledge yet, follow this link to let management know you stand with your Bargaining Committee as they fight for a strong first contract!

Upcoming Dates

  • 11/28: Bargaining Session
  • 11/29: Informational Picket at TCGplayer HQ
  • 12/7: Bargaining Session
  • 12/10: Input Session - Economic Issues (PM)
  • 12/14: Input Sessions - Economic Issues (AM & PM)
  • 12/17: Holiday Party
  • 12/18: Bargaining Session