One of the lesser-reported aspects of Epic Games’ recent decision to sell Bandcamp to Songtradr was the fact that Bandcamp’s staff union had been holding contract negotiations with the games company.
The acquisition resets those talks, but the union – Bandcamp United – is pressing for Songtradr to recognise it and continue negotiating, especially as not every Bandcamp employee was expected to be offered a job as part of the sale.
“We are calling on @songtradr to meet our demands so that we can continue to do our work and preserve Bandcamp’s mission,” tweeted the union yesterday.
Those demands include employment offers for all workers, voluntary severance offers, and immediate union recognition and continuation of the bargaining process that had begun with Epic Games.
A petition has been launched on the Action Network site to drum up support, with more than 2,700 signatures collected at the time of writing – with a minimum goal of 3,200.
The petition calls for Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire “to recognize the existing union, offer employment to all Bandcamp employees, and continue bargaining in good faith”.
Update: Songtradr has contacted Music Ally with a statement in response to the union’s call.
“We have received Bandcamp United’s letter and are reviewing it. Supporting the Bandcamp community will be our number one priority once the purchase is completed.
Songtradr does not own or control Bandcamp yet. We are in the process of acquiring Bandcamp from Epic Games, and we expect the transaction to close within the next few weeks. Epic has committed to running Bandcamp Friday as planned and will ensure Bandcamp can continue to operate and support artists through this transition.
Not all Bandcamp employees will receive offers from Songtradr. Based on its current financials, Bandcamp requires some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans long into the future. Those that don’t receive offers within the next few weeks will receive severance from Epic as part of their layoffs as communicated on September 28th.
We will work towards a fair and equitable outcome for the global members of the Bandcamp team.
Songtradr is planning to keep all the existing Bandcamp services that fans and artists love including Bandcamp Friday’s, Bandcamp Daily and its artist-first revenue share.”