Award-winning game studio Ustwo Games has been accused of anti-union activities by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) — a trade union in the United Kingdom. The Monument Valley and Assemble With Care developer reportedly fired senior programmer Austin Kelmore, a founding member of a branch of IWGB, Game Workers Unite UK, after he was allegedly “questioned by management about ... union activities.”
Ustwo Games denies the allegations. An Ustwo Games representative told Polygon that Kelmore is “leaving in the near future for reasons unconnected to his membership of a trade union or his undertaking trade union activities.”
The representative continued:
We have other employees who are members of trade unions. To respect Austin’s privacy, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on this matter. Ustwo Games has been and will continue to be committed to diversity and inclusivity. We work hard to build a supportive work environment for all our employees.
Kelmore is still technically employed by Ustwo Games, the representative said. The IGWB press release said Kelmore was “put on gardening leave” — a UK term for a sort of personal, paid leave — before dismissal.
IGWB says Ustwo Games also denied Kelmore “the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative to his disciplinary and dismissal meeting.” The organization plans to file legal action should Ustwo Games not “reverse the decision” before Oct. 4.