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AFL-CIO Pitches Game Development Unionization

Kotaku has an open letter to game developers with some perspective on the game industry from the AFL-CIO, America's largest labor organization (thanks Neutronbeam). Written by secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler, this is their first major public statement about organizing game developers. This recognizes the long hours and limited compensation that is the lot of a developer, and make the case for unionization. Here's a bit:

We’ve heard the painful stories of those willing to come forward, including one developer who visited the emergency room three times before taking off from work. Developers at Rockstar Games recently shared stories of crunch time that lasted for months and even years in order to satisfy outrageous demands from management, delivering a game that banked their bosses $725 million in its first three days.

This is a moment for change. It won’t come from CEOs. It won’t come from corporate boards. And, it won’t come from any one person.

Change will happen when you gain leverage by joining together in a strong union. And, it will happen when you use your collective voice to bargain for a fair share of the wealth you create every day.

No matter where you work, bosses will only offer fair treatment when you stand together and demand it. Fortunately, the groundwork is already being laid as grassroots groups like Game Workers Unite embrace the power of solidarity and prove that you don’t have to accept a broken, twisted status quo.

You have the power to demand a stake in your industry and a say in your economic future. What’s more, you have millions of brothers and sisters across the country standing with you.

Your fight is our fight, and we look forward to welcoming you into our union family. Whether we’re mainlining caffeine in Santa Monica, clearing tables in Chicago or mining coal in West Virginia, we deserve to collect nothing less than the full value of our work.

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