The games industry isn’t exactly a great place to work right now if that wasn’t already readily apparent. If it’s not Activision Blizzard firing people for no particular reason, it’s Ubisoft executives sexually harassing employees or pretty much any studio you can name crunching to get a game out before an internal deadline, leaving its workers burnt out and often not much richer for the experience.
What might prevent these issues is workers organizing to form unions. Then employees could collectively bargain with employers to ensure better work conditions, reasonable hours, and take legal action against executives that don’t take “no” for an answer.
Game Workers Unite is a global organization that’s been trying to create an international union of game workers. So far an international union hasn’t happened, but Game Workers Unite is celebrating a victory in Australia with that country’s first-ever union specifically for games industry employees.
Game Workers Unite Australia partnered with Professionals Australia, a professional union originally for engineers but has since expanded to include other professions, to create Game Workers Australia. This new division of Professionals Australia will "take legal action to defend our members against underpayments, discrimination and bullying, organize collective agreements at workplaces, and lobby governments and industry on an equal playing field with studio owners and publishers."
Local game professionals can sign up by filling out a membership form here. Game Workers Australia plans to offer a tiered membership with different levels of services, but a free membership will also be available. The union plans to officially launch in March 2022 after creating an official website.
Game Workers Unite isn't the only group calling for unionization in the games industry. The Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) are also working to bring unions to game workers and warn that these abusing conditions will continue until unions step in to correct them.
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