Manga and light novel publisher Seven Seas Entertainment released a statement to ANN on Saturday regarding the recent formation of the United Workers of Seven Seas (UW7S).

The full statement reads:

We appreciate having the opportunity to give our point of view regarding the unionization effort at Seven Seas Entertainment.

We respect the rights of our employees to choose or not choose union representation. While we have been requested by a number of employees to voluntarily recognize the [Communications Workers of America] as their legal representative—without [a National Labor Relations Board] conducted election—we have decided to respect the right of all eligible employees to vote on this issue. Since unionization would affect more members of staff than those who have already come forward, an election will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn about their rights and the details of this process before they cast their vote through a governed process.

We have notified the [National Labor Relations Board] that we are prepared to move forward with an election among an appropriate unit of employees, and we will, of course, abide by the outcome of the election.

On Thursday, UW7S stated on Twitter that Seven Seas had informed the union that the company would not voluntary recognize the union. UW7S said as a result the matter will go to an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

UW7S added on Twitter on Saturday that 32 out of 41 eligible workers at the company are now in favor of the union.

UW7S is working closely with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The group seeks to negotiate better working conditions for Seven Seas employees and freelancers.

According to the union, the publisher has grown from 10 employees in 2018 to over 40 staff members in 2022. The union’s new Twitter account and website state that Seven Seas‘ workers are “overworked, underpaid, and do not receive benefits typical of the publishing industry.” The group is “demanding equitable pay, healthcare and PTO, reasonable workloads, fair deadlines, and a well-organized digital office.” A full list of the organization’s goals is available on its website.

Sources: Email correspondence, United Workers of Seven Seas‘ Twitter account (link 2, link 3)