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Exclusive: Dismissed Nintendo Employee Complains of Union-Busting

In an interview with Axios, Mackenzie Clifton, a Nintendo employee who filed a labour complaint against the game company earlier this year, uses her identity for the first time.

Why it’s important The seasoned game tester claims that they were sacked in February after they inquired about unions with Nintendo management and the contracting company Aston Carter.

The complaint claimed that the employers had impeded Clifton’s ability to negotiate unionization without fear of retaliation, a constitutionally protected right.

What they’re saying is that they hope that by telling this tale, more people would consider how the video game industry functions and how these well-known and adored companies, who offer enjoyable entertainment, actually operate.

According to Axios, Clifton questioned Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser about the recent unionisation trend in QA in the games business during the Q&A segment. (The incident was first reported by the gaming website Kotaku without providing identities or information.)

Illustration of Mario's hat with a fist instead of an "M".

Axios

The meeting did not address Clifton’s query. But later that day, according to Clifton, a supervisor from Aston Carter called them and advised them to address such questions to the contracting company rather than Nintendo because it was a “downer question.”

“Baffled and kind of upset,” Clifton said. A little over a month later, Clifton lost his job.

According to Nintendo, Clifton was fired for publicly sharing “secret information,” not because of any involvement from unions.

In response to their request for evidence of a violation, Clifton tells Axios that they were handed a tweet they had made on February 16 that read, “In today’s build someone somewhere must have erased every other texture in the game because everything is now red.” similar to pure red It’s quite silly.

Given the ambiguity of the tweet, Clifton claims that to be misinformation. It does not specify what Clifton was working on in detail.

Requests for comment regarding Clifton’s account were not responded to by Nintendo or Aston Carter. Regarding the status of the complaint, the NLRB declined to comment.

The big picture: Current and former Nintendo of America contractors have claimed that Nintendo treats them unfairly.

Following the public attention generated by Clifton’s NLRB lawsuit, other people claimed that Nintendo subjected hundreds of essential employees in its game-testing, customer service, and even game-writing teams to unstable and stressful temporary contracts. Conversions to full-time status, according to even some high performers, are uncommon.

There have been allegations of workplace misconduct amidst those remarks, which Nintendo has stated internally to its employees it takes seriously, Nintendo, however, has not made any public statements concerning the company’s extensive use of contractors.

An early attempt by certain Nintendo customer support contractors to unionize failed in mid-2014, according to two former contractors who previously spoke with Axios, after their management business learned about it (neither Nintendo nor the firm commented on the matter when asked).

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