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Ustwo Games, the BAFTA-winning developers behind Monument Valley, have been threatened with legal action for allegations of “union busting” by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
The allegation centers around claims that the developer dismissed programmer Austin Kelmore for his union activity- as the chair and founding member of the Game Workers Unite (GWU) UK branch of the IWGB.
It is alleged that when Kelmore invited employees to a union meeting, he was reprimanded and questioned over his union activities by management. Kelmore was then allegedly fired for his union activity.
In a statement issued to Games Industry.biz, Ustwo Games denies the claim:
“We have other employees who are members of trade unions. To respect Austin’s privacy, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on this matter.”
IWGB also claims that Kelmore had the right to accompanied by a union representative during his disciplinary meeting and firing. In addition, the IWGB is concerned that Kelmore may lose his right to remain in the UK without a job, as he is a US national.
GWU Branch Secretary Jamie Cross also issued a statement:
“Despite Ustwo’s claims of being as much a family as it is a company, it has decided to leave Austin, one of its best developers, completely orphaned.
Austin and his family are not only left without their main source of income, but also unsure if they will have to uproot their whole lives and leave the country in a few weeks. The union will not stand idly by in the face of this unlawful and vicious act, and is determined to fight back until this decision is reversed, either voluntarily or through the courts.”
IWGB have given Ustwo a deadline of October 4th to reverse the decision before they file legal action.
In other union related news, Troy Baker revealed he turned down reprising his character in Borderlands 3 as Gearbox “wouldn’t go union.“