Bandcamp United is a union of Bandcamp employees that was officially recognized by former Bandcamp owners Epic Games in May 2023. Bandcamp United began the bargaining process with Epic Games in August, right up until Bandcamp was sold to Songtradr in late September 2023.
According to Bandcamp United, most Bandcamp workers have had access revoked to critical systems by Epic Games during the transition. Bandcamp United also notes that not everyone will be kept as an employee during the transition, adding that Songtradr is "offering positions to workers on a rolling basis with a 72-hour turnaround for acceptance despite the sales documents stipulating that the Purchaser allow 7 days to consider the offer."
"Since the deal was announced, as part of the transition process, most Bandcamp workers have had critical systems access revoked by Epic Management and have been unable to do their jobs," wrote Bandcamp United in a press release.
"With the upcoming Bandcamp Friday [happening today, October 6] — a time of increased business for the site where 100% of profits go directly to artists — the workers are seeking clear and direct communication with Songtradr management and a continuation of the bargaining process to get the clarity they need to do the work that artists rely on."
Bandcamp United has since launched a petition urging Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire to recognize their union. You can sign that petition here. Songtradr has since issued a statement in response to Bandcamp United, essentially saying a whole lot of nothing other than they're reviewing Bandcamp United's request and that some folks will definitely get laid off.
"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."