Nearly a month after Seven Seas Entertainment workers formed a union under the name of United Workers of Seven Seas (UW7S), the Seven Seas company voluntarily recognized the union. Previously, the company requested that an NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) conducted election be held, after which it would accept the results.
“UW7S is happy to announce that Seven Seas has agreed to voluntarily recognize us as the union based on a majority card check. This decision by Seven Seas eliminates the need for an NLRB conducted election and will pave the way for a more expedited path to bargaining a first contract. At a time when many employers continue to fight the unionization of their employees, we appreciate that Seven Seas decided to respect the voices of the majority of staff and recognize us. We look forward to developing a mutually beneficial relationship and reaching a collective bargaining agreement in the near future.”Full statement on the recognition by UW7S
Seven Seas issued a similar statement, recognizing the efforts and expressing hope for a “better future” for everyone:
At the end of May, Seven Seas was notified that a union had filed an election petition to represent our employe.. At the lime, the company decided . proceed to an election governed by Me Nafional Relations Labor Board in order to allow such an important decision to get its full democratic process. The company is responsible for protecfing the rights of all employees, and was uncomfortable waiving such a fundamental right to vote.Seven Seas Entertainment recognizes the UW7S union
However, this has been a challenging time for staff at every level. Above all, the well-being and safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us. M order to protect everyone involved, and to work together in good faith for the sake of our staff, crea.rs, ..ars and fans, Seven Seas has now decided to waive the right to an election in favor of voluntary recognition of the union.
We look forward to working together with the newly unionized UW7S and the rest of our global staff as we sail towards an even brighter future.
A few weeks after the initial statements, the UW7S issued another statement saying that Seven Seas has hired a union-busting company, Ogletree Deakins. According to UW7S, in early June Seven Seas Entertainment owner Jason DeAngelis emailed staff announcing that the company would not voluntarily recognize the union. In a statement given to Anime Corner, UW7S highlighted that they would not call for a boycott and instead opted out to wait for the results of the election, as they had a “supermajority of 32 of the 41 eligible workers.” This is in line with what the union initially requested – a peaceful recognition and better working conditions.
What exactly “an even brighter future” entails remains to be seen, but the two parties seem to be set on working things out.