Sega of America workers of multiple departments have announced their plan to unionize in partnership with the Communications Workers of America and will be known as Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA or AEGIS-CWA for short, according to a tweet from the union’s Twitter account.
The hope of the union is to help “secure a future where we are empowered to advocate for ourselves and for our colleagues.” The Sega group itself based out of Irvine, California consists of 144 workers part of multiple departments including QA, localization, live service, marketing, and product development departments at Sega’s America branch.
Today we, a supermajority of workers at our @SEGA of America Irvine headquarters, are excited to announce that we are unionizing as the Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA—AEGIS—in partnership with @code_cwa. #UnionizeSEGA pic.twitter.com/lzbwFUZOFH
— AEGIS-CWA 💙 #UnionizeSEGA (@takesAEGIS) April 24, 2023
A union election is set to take place with the National Labor Relations Board. This process can be skipped altogether if Sega officially recognizes its American Branch union. In a culture where union-busting comes up in a behind-the-scenes scenario like for Activision that seems unlikely but hopefully, the Japanese-based publisher has a different stance; we’ll have to wait and see.
“We are unionizing because we love the games that we work on, we love our coworkers, and we love working at SEGA. But unfortunately for many this job is not sustainable. Our goal is to make SEGA someplace where we feel employees can thrive for many years to come,” AEGIS said in a follow-up tweet to the announcement.
The announcement goes on to reveal that wages at SEGA are below the industry average alongside weak benefits and a lack of paths to promotion. That really hammers it home that even loving video games in a working environment is not a two-way street in most cases, the union claims that almost a third of SEGA of America’s longtime workers still lack full-time status, paid time off, proper training and bereavement leave.
To tackle the issues above and so much more, AEGIS has listed its mission goals for the union, which are listed below:
- Higher base pay for all, following industry standards, with raises tied to the cost of living and inflation
- Improved Stable benefits for all, including healthcare, retirement, remote work opportunities, and more
- Increased, clearly outlined opportunities for advancement
- Balanced workloads and schedules, and defined responsibilities for all positions
- Adequate staffing of departments to end patterns of overwork
While a bevy of unions have formed at Activision Blizzard including Raven Software and Blizzard Albany after the 2021 fallout of the company’s government sexual allegations investigation, those were under the QA teams in those cases but AEGIS is set to be the first multi-department video game union, as first reported by The Verge.