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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Nintendo allegedly violates Workers rights to organise

sc94597 said:

If enough workers at Nintendo of America decide they want a union, there will be a vote and there isn't really much Nintendo can do about there being a vote. That's why they, like many other U.S companies, try to stifle (not explicitly because that would be illegal) and retaliate against organizers (again implicitly) before it gets that far. 

The NLRA is pretty clear about there being a legal right to form unions in the United States. 

Sure, but I was also clear that I suggested what I believe to be right: a legal means for a company to opt out if they believe and defend that it could be detrimental to the company.



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Illusion said:

The problem that I have is that Nintendo is a company that condemns people who do things like make personal backups of their 20-30 yr old cartridges that are practically irreplaceable on the used market and are rapidly failing due to age and uses the law as their justification for this position.  They are a major outlier in the gaming industry in terms of aggressively enforcing their legal rights to the point where, in my opinion, it is a major overreach.  Almost monthly, I hear or watch stories about how a Nintendo civil suit destroyed the life of some average person (usually a fan) that was sharing ROMs, which is admittedly illegal, while I frankly almost never hear similar stories coming from Microsoft, Sony or Sega.

Nintendo demanding that we as gamers abide by the finer points of incredibly complex Copyright Law and accuse anybody who doesn't as being pirates, criminals, etc makes me want to hold the company to a much higher standard than anybody else in the industry.  As a result, when I hear stories like this I get doubly (no triply) angry at Nintendo.  It also upsets me quite a bit to see how many gamers are making excuses for this company and minimizing a fundamental human right such as the right to form a union.  I don't know if Nintendo is guilty of wrongdoing here but if they are, I hope that they are penalized to the maximum extent of the law the same way that they have happily laid multi-million dollar civil penalties on young gamers in their parents basements that have screwed up a shared a ROM online.

Makes me sympathize with Nintendo a lot less.



padib said:
sc94597 said:

If enough workers at Nintendo of America decide they want a union, there will be a vote and there isn't really much Nintendo can do about there being a vote. That's why they, like many other U.S companies, try to stifle (not explicitly because that would be illegal) and retaliate against organizers (again implicitly) before it gets that far. 

The NLRA is pretty clear about there being a legal right to form unions in the United States. 

Sure, but I was also clear that I suggested what I believe to be right: a legal means for a company to opt out if they believe and defend that it could be detrimental to the company.

Of course any company's management, who work on the behalf of shareholders, is going to make an argument that unions "could" be detrimental. The interests of the workers and the shareholders/management (aka "the company") are almost always counterposed. But ultimately there is no legal opt-out in American law. Any company whose workforce votes to unionize must abide by the decision after that vote takes place -- regardless of the management's ostensible arguments for why "it could be detrimental to the company." The company gets a chance to argue their side in the election, but if they lose the vote they have to accept the union. 



sc94597 said:
padib said:

Sure, but I was also clear that I suggested what I believe to be right: a legal means for a company to opt out if they believe and defend that it could be detrimental to the company.

Of course any company's management, who work on the behalf of shareholders, is going to make an argument that unions "could" be detrimental. The interests of the workers and the shareholders/management (aka "the company") are almost always counterposed. But ultimately there is no legal opt-out in American law. Any company whose workforce votes to unionize must abide by the decision after that vote takes place -- regardless of the management's ostensible arguments for why "it could be detrimental to the company." The company gets a chance to argue their side in the election, but if they lose the vote they have to accept the union. 

Again though, that's American law and all countries manage the ethics of it differently. I'm not personally American so I'm even more free to differ with the law about it.

In my personal view, irrespective of an ostensible validity of a law of a given country, I believe that companies are private entities which should be managed privately, and regulated by a government. Minimum wages should be governed by the state and fair salaries within a company can be something managed from a neutral body. Because when it happens from the inside, it comes with many other items that can ruin a company and I see a lot of cons.

And look, it leads to many companies using shady tactics to avoid it. Better if the law has a provision to help workers be treated fairly without spelling possible disaster for the shareholders.



Cobretti2 said:

Oh so we talking unions.

Unions are useless as tits on a bull in modern society. They are more focused on taking people's membership money than actually helping people when it all get's too hard.

That's the image corporations want people to have on unions. It's working well it seems. Nevermind that in the US the membership money you pay (in general arounf $700 a year) also in general gives you a full healthcare plan for much cheaper than you could ever get it though other means.

One major problem in the US is however that since Reagan took office unions have lost much of their power to do anything effective. In other countries unions are much more powerful and as a result can get results much easier and much more effectively than in the US, where agreements with unions tend to be non-binding or only for the members of the union and not all the employees.

For the record, I have a union membership here in Luxembourg. I pay a grand total of 0.25€ per month in membership fees, so 4€ a year.



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psychicscubadiver said:
Illusion said:

Please read my post.  I didn't say anywhere that I am "cool with theft."  All I am doing is holding Nintendo to the same extremely high standard that they expect all gamers to abide by.

Seems legit. After all, everybody I know who emulates Ninty games got mutli-million dollar lawsuits. It definitely isn't just the people deliberately cashing in on Nintendo's IP by selling ROMs or hacking gear.

C'mon, chief. As a man who *allegedly* pirates anime and manga by the boatload, I'm willing to admit that theft is theft. It's easy to rationalize when you financially support the people who you feel deserve your money after the fact, but I've never lied to myself about what I'm doing. 

Where did I say anywhere that I support the illegal downloading/sharing/etc of ROMs?  I think that Nintendo is far to anal about it, but I agree that we should support and legitimately purchase content whenever possible.  For example, I play tons of retro games but every game I play I own a legitimately purchased copy of it.  The problem is that many of my games are from the 90's and the carts/discs are now too expensive to replace.  There is also the issue that even normal usage of these extremely old games is destructive and I have dead Shadows of the Empire and Dragon Warrior carts from the past year to prove this.  Am I criminal for wanting to back up my games from the 90's to be able to safely access the content?  This is what Nintendo has to say about it:

https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55888/~/intellectual-property-%26-piracy-faq#s2q7

Frankly, the double standard is sickening.  Nintendo is taking a legal grey area and asserting that it is illegal for people to want to preserve and access their own legitimately purchased content in the privacy of their own home but then it is totally OK I assume to illegally surveil employees and union bust.

Also, you are fooling yourself if you think that Nintendo is only going after people making boatloads of cash off of their IP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIC21WNOWl0

Frankly, Nintendo's own words reveal that if they had the means they would like to prosecute most of the people on this board for their past actions downloading ROMs or modding like the RIAA did for music downloading in the 2000's, it's just that they only have the resources to sue so many people.  I guess that I am just the only person here who feels repulsed by it.

Now, I am hearing that Nintendo may be violating worker rights, it just adds icing on the cake for me.

And just to repeat myself in case I get accused of it again: no I do not support nor am I advocating the illegal downloading of ROMs.  Just because I think the penalty Nintendo is administering is unjust in most cases does not mean that I think that the acts are A-OK or that I condone it.

Last edited by Illusion - on 21 April 2022

Bofferbrauer2 said:
Cobretti2 said:

Oh so we talking unions.

Unions are useless as tits on a bull in modern society. They are more focused on taking people's membership money than actually helping people when it all get's too hard.

That's the image corporations want people to have on unions. It's working well it seems. Nevermind that in the US the membership money you pay (in general arounf $700 a year) also in general gives you a full healthcare plan for much cheaper than you could ever get it though other means.

One major problem in the US is however that since Reagan took office unions have lost much of their power to do anything effective. In other countries unions are much more powerful and as a result can get results much easier and much more effectively than in the US, where agreements with unions tend to be non-binding or only for the members of the union and not all the employees.

For the record, I have a union membership here in Luxembourg. I pay a grand total of 0.25€ per month in membership fees, so 4€ a year.

Maybe in some countries they needed I guess. Here in Australia most unions have lost their way of what the core function is and become all about collecting membership money for the guys running them. When it comes to negotiate they don't even know the laws that are applicable or bail on you when the negotiations are getting tough. They think they can just tell people to strike and think there will be no consequences lol. There are formal laws which they have to follow for a strike to happen.  Some unions just sign up members they have no power to represent so they can get their money from them lol.

You can't just join any union, it has to be one that is relevant to the industry you are in. As far as I am aware I don't even think the video game industry has a union in America or maybe it is new and still trying to grow members.



 

 

All this talk about unionisation is really missing the real issues here: how non-contract employees have, and are still (supposedly), been treated.



twintail said:

All this talk about unionisation is really missing the real issues here: how non-contract employees have, and are still (supposedly), been treated.

There simply shouldn't be any difference in treatment between unionized and non-unionized workers, which includes non-contract workers.



Cobretti2 said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

That's the image corporations want people to have on unions. It's working well it seems. Nevermind that in the US the membership money you pay (in general arounf $700 a year) also in general gives you a full healthcare plan for much cheaper than you could ever get it though other means.

One major problem in the US is however that since Reagan took office unions have lost much of their power to do anything effective. In other countries unions are much more powerful and as a result can get results much easier and much more effectively than in the US, where agreements with unions tend to be non-binding or only for the members of the union and not all the employees.

For the record, I have a union membership here in Luxembourg. I pay a grand total of 0.25€ per month in membership fees, so 4€ a year.

Maybe in some countries they needed I guess. Here in Australia most unions have lost their way of what the core function is and become all about collecting membership money for the guys running them. When it comes to negotiate they don't even know the laws that are applicable or bail on you when the negotiations are getting tough. They think they can just tell people to strike and think there will be no consequences lol. There are formal laws which they have to follow for a strike to happen.  Some unions just sign up members they have no power to represent so they can get their money from them lol.

You can't just join any union, it has to be one that is relevant to the industry you are in. As far as I am aware I don't even think the video game industry has a union in America or maybe it is new and still trying to grow members.

I often forget that not all countries have general unions which are active in pretty much all domains.