IGN Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges, Calls on Readers to Pressure Owners After Surprise Layoffs

The IGN Creators Guild says three staffers were cut despite no financial woes and seven open positions at the video game-focused site

IGN Union and IGN logos
IGN Guild/IGN

Following the unexpected layoffs of three union staff members, the IGN Creators Guild says it has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against IGN and is calling on readers to help pressure the company to negotiate.

“We’re turning to our community now,” the guild said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “Join us in insisting IGN management sit down with us at the bargaining table instead of communicating with us through outside counsel.” As part of this novel plea for help from readers, the statement includes three email addresses belonging to members of management.

In the statement, the guild says it was “blindsided” when the three staff members were axed on March 7. The video game media site is refusing to negotiate with the guild over the layoffs, the statement explained, and is now saying that the decision was made before the company agreed to recognize the union. “It is a massive breach of trust,” the statement read.

“The company is in no economic distress,” and has enacted these layoffs even though there are currently seven open positions, many of which “our three colleagues could be slotted into,” the guild continued. Further, the union accused IGN of performing “legal acrobatics” to avoid negotiating in good faith.

Representatives for IGN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Former senior editor and producer for IGN Joshua Yehl confirmed he was one of the affected employees in a post on the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

Workers at IGN voted to unionize in February, and IGN voluntarily recognized the union after. “Of our many goals, we first and foremost want to see IGN grow and thrive as digital media continues to become more and more tumultuous,” the guild said in a previous statement. “We have been an institution for over 25 years, and the creators of IGN want to see it continue for 25 more and beyond. But to do so, we need support.”

The Creators Guild listed its most important goals as fair pay, affordable health insurance, protection against layoffs and increased diversity within the company.

Read the full letter, below.

“On March 7, 2024, IGN Management blindsided the IGN Creators Guild with three layoffs. This decision was made despite the fact that the company is in no economic distress, and without consulting the union. This decision shocked us, given the fact that the company voluntarily recognized our guild. The company is claiming that these decisions were made prior to our recognition. Failing to approach us prior to the layoffs, and instead only choosing to bargain over the effects of said layoffs, is a massive breach of trust between union employees and management.”

“The erosion of trust is only furthered by the fact that there are currently seven open positions at the company and our three colleagues could be slotted into many of them. There were plenty of alternative options to utilize the abundance of resources between these three team members. This layoff was a choice, not a need.”

“Rather than working with us to transfer our colleagues into these open roles, the company is performing legal acrobatics to get around us and is risking the livelihood of three people with 23+ years of experience with the company between them. This has had a detrimental impact on staff, and will continue to do so as we move into IGN’s busy events schedule, including the newly minted IGN Live. The experience of our impacted members is expertise that we can’t afford to lose, and a huge blow to the teams who relied on them across departments.”

“We formed this union to make it clear that this callous treatment of our livelihoods will not be tolerated. IGN relies on us to be creative, to pivot, and to otherwise “make do” with countless curveballs both external and internal, but they are unwilling to do the same when it came to taking care of their staff.”

“We’re turning to our community now. Join us in insisting IGN management sit down with us at the bargaining table instead of communicating with us through outside counsel (@yaelprough, @PeerlGN, @jwhdavidson). In the meantime, we’ve filed Unfair Labor Practice charges and have demanded that IGN agree to comprehensive layoff and just cause language for our entire unit to prevent a situation like this in the future.”

“We insist that IGN Management bargain with us as a whole to rebuild trust between the company and the guild. We are also demanding that IGN Management do the right thing and give our impacted teammates the consideration—or at the very least the severance—that they deserve. We ask that you join us in doing the same.”

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