Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign

A story on the Los Angeles Times outlines an effort by the Communications Workers of America to unionize employees of video game and tech companies. This involves what's called the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE, get it?). This arises from a grassroots effort from a couple of years ago called Game Workers Unite rather than the pitch last year from the AFL-CIO. The article also reports a separate new formal relationship between the Toronto chapter of Game Workers Unite with the Communications Workers of America. The story details some of the issues facing the game industry, including crunch, production schedule-related layoffs, and forced arbitration of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination claims. Here's a bit more quoting both CWA lead organizer Tom Smith and Game Workers Unite co-founder Emma Kinema:
The new project charts a path away from organizing video game workers along the Hollywood craft union model. SAG-AFTRA has represented video game voice actors for years, and called a strike in 2017 over pay and royalty structures. But CWA largely follows the industrial union model, which organizes entire companies at once rather than splitting workers who perform different jobs into specialized unions.

Smith, for his part, said that CWA could accommodate craft-based organizing if that’s what video game or tech workers want, emphasizing that the workers will ultimately decide how to organize. But Kinema saw the decision to join CWA in starker terms.

“We believe workers are strongest when they’re together in one shop in one union, so the disciplines can’t be pitted against each other—none of that’s good for the workers,” Kinema said. “I think in games and tech the wall-to-wall industrial model is the best fit.”
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Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 11:17
1.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 11:17
Jan 7, 2020, 11:17
 
I wonder if coders really want to be unionized with artists.
2.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 11:36
2.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 11:36
Jan 7, 2020, 11:36
 
Bill Borre wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 11:17:
I wonder if coders really want to be unionized with artists.
A larger organization with a broader audience has more bargaining power than a smaller more focused one.
3.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 12:51
3.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 12:51
Jan 7, 2020, 12:51
 
All I see are people who created a union to get rich without actually doing anything good.

Unions are trash these days. They hide crappy employees under seniority umbrellas and grievances.

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4.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 12:57
4.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 12:57
Jan 7, 2020, 12:57
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:51:
All I see are people who created a union to get rich without actually doing anything good.

Unions are trash these days. They hide crappy employees under seniority umbrellas and grievances.


Here is the self destructive mentality common in non-millionaire people these days, mostly in the US, but other countries also. "Screw Unions, I want to be fired at any time, for any reason, and work 7 days a week, 60 hours a day for no extra pay!"

Unions are a necessary evil. Sure, some scammers skate by, but without unions, workers have zero protections and usually no bargaining power at all.

Any protections you currently DO have at any job is most likely due to the historical work of unions. Why people continually want to erode their own rights and protections, nobody can logically explain.

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5.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 12:58
5.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 12:58
Jan 7, 2020, 12:58
 

If any group needs Unionization and the protection it affords it's the video game industry.

A mask is not a political statement. It's an IQ test.
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6.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:12
Nimh
 
6.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:12
Jan 7, 2020, 13:12
 Nimh
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:58:
If any group needs Unionization and the protection it affords it's the video game industry.


All tech. workers would benefit.
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7.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:14
Cutter
 
7.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:14
Jan 7, 2020, 13:14
 Cutter
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:57:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:51:
All I see are people who created a union to get rich without actually doing anything good.

Unions are trash these days. They hide crappy employees under seniority umbrellas and grievances.


Here is the self destructive mentality common in non-millionaire people these days, mostly in the US, but other countries also. "Screw Unions, I want to be fired at any time, for any reason, and work 7 days a week, 60 hours a day for no extra pay!"

Unions are a necessary evil. Sure, some scammers skate by, but without unions, workers have zero protections and usually no bargaining power at all.

Any protections you currently DO have at any job is most likely due to the historical work of unions. Why people continually want to erode their own rights and protections, nobody can logically explain.


Spoken like someone who's never belonged to an actual union before. Unions are great in principle but in practice they suck.
"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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8.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:28
8.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:28
Jan 7, 2020, 13:28
 
Nimh wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:12:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:58:
If any group needs Unionization and the protection it affords it's the video game industry.


All tech. workers would benefit.
True
A mask is not a political statement. It's an IQ test.
Avatar 58135
9.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:30
9.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:30
Jan 7, 2020, 13:30
 
Question:

If they do unionize, are we going to see more microtransactions in games to offset the development costs?
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10.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:34
Kxmode
 
10.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:34
Jan 7, 2020, 13:34
 Kxmode
 
The funny thing about CODE is it breaks often due to human error.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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11.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:35
11.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:35
Jan 7, 2020, 13:35
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:14:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:57:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:51:
All I see are people who created a union to get rich without actually doing anything good.

Unions are trash these days. They hide crappy employees under seniority umbrellas and grievances.


Here is the self destructive mentality common in non-millionaire people these days, mostly in the US, but other countries also. "Screw Unions, I want to be fired at any time, for any reason, and work 7 days a week, 60 hours a day for no extra pay!"

Unions are a necessary evil. Sure, some scammers skate by, but without unions, workers have zero protections and usually no bargaining power at all.

Any protections you currently DO have at any job is most likely due to the historical work of unions. Why people continually want to erode their own rights and protections, nobody can logically explain.


Spoken like someone who's never belonged to an actual union before. Unions are great in principle but in practice they suck.
Statements like yours come from people who think employees should have no rights and from those duped by the former group.
12.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:37
NKD
12.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:37
Jan 7, 2020, 13:37
NKD
 
Unions aren't perfect, but they are a damn sight better than not having one.

Without a union, you have zero bargaining power. You take what is offered or you fuck off back to the unemployment line. There is always some single guy with no kids, no mortgage, who is willing to work for half the pay or twice the hours. Got a problem with the way employees are treated at your job? What are you going to do? Without a union they can and will fire you for opening your mouth.

This is all quite a bit more consequential than "This one lazy guy had seniority at my old job and it annoyed me that they couldn't shitcan him." Some guy being friends with the boss is going to happen regardless, and not having a union doesn't give you any power to do anything about it.
Old man trouble back again
Fucking up my plans like oh no, oh no,
I'm back to the black again
Gettin fucked up again, oh no, oh no.
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13.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
Nimh
 
13.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
 Nimh
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:30:
Question:

If they do unionize, are we going to see more microtransactions in games to offset the development costs?

EA CEO made about 20 million last year.. I'm sure he would love for you to believe game development would be negatively impacted by him having to provide a better work environment.
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14.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
14.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
Jan 7, 2020, 13:39
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:57:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 12:51:
All I see are people who created a union to get rich without actually doing anything good.

Unions are trash these days. They hide crappy employees under seniority umbrellas and grievances.


Here is the self destructive mentality common in non-millionaire people these days, mostly in the US, but other countries also. "Screw Unions, I want to be fired at any time, for any reason, and work 7 days a week, 60 hours a day for no extra pay!"

Unions are a necessary evil. Sure, some scammers skate by, but without unions, workers have zero protections and usually no bargaining power at all.

Any protections you currently DO have at any job is most likely due to the historical work of unions. Why people continually want to erode their own rights and protections, nobody can logically explain.


I laugh when I see people upset at unions and their wages.

"This guy makes $X/hr? But that's basically what I make and I went to school for X years longer than him! He needs to earn less I earned this!"

It's never "I deserve to earn more." It's a race to the bottom for some.


Nimh wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:39:
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:30:
Question:

If they do unionize, are we going to see more microtransactions in games to offset the development costs?

EA CEO made about 20 million last year.. I'm sure he would love for you to believe game development would be negatively impacted by him having to provide a better work environment.

Ya it'll be unnoticeable to them, but if it rationalizes a new micro transaction/further revenue I bet they do it and blame the unionization.
Currently setting a record for most edited posts, 1 reply at a time.
15.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 14:07
15.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 14:07
Jan 7, 2020, 14:07
 
You got to be kidding me... man the F up, seriously. Unions are for dangerous occupations, like coal mines. Not a job where if you show up dressed as the opposite gender and might be called a few names. Unbelievable.
16.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 14:09
16.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 14:09
Jan 7, 2020, 14:09
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 13:14:
Spoken like someone who's never belonged to an actual union before. Unions are great in principle but in practice they suck.

Experiences across jobs and countries will differ, but I have indeed been in an union for the past 18-19 years at my current job. Yes, there are a few people who try to abuse the union, but that's true throughout all of human history in every aspect of society. Overall, the union at my job has a net positive effect.
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17.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 14:25
17.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 14:25
Jan 7, 2020, 14:25
 
I would highly support an IT workers union and I would gladly join it. As with any organization, there are going to be some slackers and downsides.

However, the mentality I see most in those that are anti-union boils down to "fuck you, I got mine". It never occurs to these people that it is not an either or situation. You can have better paternity leave, health benefits, time off, retirement benefits, "at will employment" bullshit protection for everyone. I will never understand why a certain demographic of people believe that licking the ass of the wealthy is going to better serve them than standing united with their fellow workers. Wealthy folks don't stay wealthy if the people whose backs they're standing atop of stop working and thus stop generating that wealth for them.
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

There are two types of computer users: Masochists and Linux users.

If you would like help or further details on a technical discussion we're having, email me at bnhelp (at sign) keepusiel.net . Pl
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18.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 14:45
18.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 14:45
Jan 7, 2020, 14:45
 
mxmissile wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 14:07:
You got to be kidding me... man the F up, seriously. Unions are for dangerous occupations, like coal mines. Not a job where if you show up dressed as the opposite gender and might be called a few names. Unbelievable.
Thank goodness you're here to let everyone know who should be unionized!

Seriously, though, the one who needs to "man up" is the guy who thinks some occupations don't need to have an organized labor force. Everyone, in any occupation, can be exploited by their employer. Unions can keep this from happening. Don't want one? Don't join one. It's pretty simple.
19.
 
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 15:03
19.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 15:03
Jan 7, 2020, 15:03
 
mxmissile wrote on Jan 7, 2020, 14:07:
You got to be kidding me... man the F up, seriously. Unions are for dangerous occupations, like coal mines. Not a job where if you show up dressed as the opposite gender and might be called a few names. Unbelievable.

Well coal miners are being retrained to code so, yeah there is that I guess.

I can see a union being needed for tech work. We have moved to a contractor based tech worker where I am employed and it has been nothing but problems. I now pay some fucking company $65 an hour to provide me with a Tech that makes 12-15 an hour, needs to be trained, and we have an extreme turnover rate. I guess I lack the education to understand how this all makes sense.


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Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign
Jan 7, 2020, 15:25
20.
Re: Video Game and Tech Workers Unionization Campaign Jan 7, 2020, 15:25
Jan 7, 2020, 15:25
 
I love my union and hope to never leave it. It's dismaying to see comments online saying they're "trash", or that their union sucks (so all other unions therefore also suck), or that because one union out there does shitty things, every other union is also therefore shitty.
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