Gotta unionize fast
The Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS) has announced the results of their unionization vote. The result is a resounding ‘yes’ with 91 voting to form a union and 26 voting against it. The vote now just needs to be certified by the National Labor Relations Board.
This vote creates the largest union in the video game industry. It will cover Sega of America’s Irvine, California branch and more than 200 roles. This comes as part of a continued and long-overdue push by workers in the industry to unionize for better treatment. Just this past January, Zenimax QA workers voted to unite.
We just won our union election 91-26.
Our 200+ member union is now the LARGEST multi-department union of organized workers in the ENTIRE gaming industry.
— AEGIS-CWA 💙 #UnionizeSEGA (@takesAEGIS) July 10, 2023
Sega is largely a Japanese corporation, but like many publishers, they have offices all over the world. This past February, Sega of Japan actually gave its employees a 30% salary increase, but Sega of America didn’t follow suit. AEGIS has stated that its goals are for pay to meet inflation and for better staffing to prevent overworking.
I’m somewhat surprised that the idea of unionizing has taken this long to catch on in the industry. We’re nearly two decades on from the “EA Spouse” blog that exposed some of the horrible practices of the industry. This mostly involved unpaid overtime, but even after successful lawsuits, crunch remains a commonly used practice across the industry. However, because this is an industry that often attracts individuals and takes advantage of their passion, many workers are afraid to put their job on the line in an attempt to unionize.
Here’s hoping that this trend continues and we see more stories like this over the next few years.