eBay / TCGplayer workers vote to unionize
Source: Communications Workers of America (CWA)

TCGplayer Workers Triumph, Thrusting eBay Into Uncharted Labor Bargaining Territory, or Will There Be Another Twist?


In a major development, eBay has decided to formally recognize the TCGunion-CWA union at its TCGplayer subsidiary and engage in negotiations with the workers on an initial union contract.

This dramatic reversal comes in the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent ruling, where it dismissed TCGplayer’s most recent attempt to challenge the union’s success in organizing workers at the company.

TCGplayer, a premier online marketplace for card games and collectible trading cards, had been under mounting pressure from both its workforce and the wider community to acknowledge the union.

It appears that this pressure resulted in eBay/TCGplayer committing to recognizing the union and begin the bargaining process.

Briana Thomas, a member of the newly formed TCGunion-CWA union and a TCGplayer worker, voiced her satisfaction with finally engaging with eBay and TCGplayer on negotiating a fair labor contract.

“Even in the face of a relentless union-busting campaign and expensive union-busting lawyers – we, the workers of TCGunion-CWA, remain undefeated.

“We won our union election, and we now have won a commitment from TCGplayer and eBay to meet us at the bargaining table. eBay and TCGplayer have tried every means necessary to avoid meeting us at the bargaining table.

“Despite their best efforts, my colleagues and I have stood shoulder to shoulder through it all, and that is why TCGplayer and eBay are being forced to the negotiating table.

“Worker power won us a voice on the job, worker power won an end to spineless delay tactics and worker power will finally win us the strong union contract we deserve, enshrining the dignified pay, benefits and working conditions we deserve.”

Recognizing Union Is a Historic Event for eBay

The formation of TCGunion-CWA marks a historic event at eBay, as TCGplayer workers become the first group of eBay employees to attain union recognition.

With the acquisition of TCGplayer by eBay in 2022 for $295 million brought about challenges for workers, including a major change in benefits and evolving performance criteria.

Workers said they have a crucial role in ensuring the success of TCGplayer in Syracuse and should be compensated fairly for their contribution to the company.

As negotiations commence, workers are focused on securing equitable compensation, benefits, and improved working conditions for themselves. And they believe their resolve will finally get that for them.


Recognizing a union and actually finalizing a contract is a different matter.

eBay could still pull the plug on TCGplayer operations in Syracuse and move the intellectual property (processes and operations) to another state with Right to Work laws, which New York does not have.

In states with Right to Work laws, it gives workers the choice not to join a union, even if some workers decide to form or join one. It’s generally thought this weakens unions, making it harder for labor groups to form collective bargaining arrangements with employers.

Apparently, eBay has not ended its relationship with Littler Mendelson, a prominent union-busting firm. But such a drastic move would also create a major media backlash for the company.

Can it afford to take that hit today?

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