Edmonton video game workers vote to unionize, an industry first for Canada & More News Here

In an industry first for Canada, 16 video game improvement workers in Edmonton have voted to unionize.

Unionization efforts for the video game improvement industry have been few and much between regardless of many years of tales of exploitative working situations. While extra widespread exterior the United States and Canada, there are solely two unions in North America in video game improvement.

Now added to that rely is a top quality assurance group from Keywords Studios, based mostly in Ireland.

The 16 Edmonton workers voted unanimously to unionize by way of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, the union stated in a information launch Monday.

“Workplace frustrations are widespread throughout this industry, and it has become clear that workers need to unionize to address those issues,” UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse stated within the launch.

“We are proud to participate in those trailblazing efforts in North America.”

Keywords Studios operates in 23 international locations and has greater than 9,000 workers.

The Edmonton group is contracted to game developer BioWare, well-known for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age sequence.

An announcement posted to the Keywords Studios web site stated the corporate accepts the vote outcomes.

“We value our people and will continue to constantly strive to be a good employer,” it reads. “As an organization we want to ensure an engaging experience for all of our employees, and we take any concerns that our staff have seriously.”

Contract negotiations

Felix Martinez, a nationwide consultant with UFCW, stated the following step will probably be creating proposals and beginning negotiations for the workers’ first contract.

“The fact that it’s 100 per cent, it’s always very exciting and it’s also very clear — it gives us a lot of leverage for bargaining,” he stated.

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“The employer knows that the workers are 100 per cent into it so it opens up a lot of possibilities for bargaining.”

Employees beforehand informed CBC News the first causes for the unionization effort was a considerable wage hole between contracted workers and people employed immediately by BioWare doing comparable jobs and a mandated back-to-work order that has since been rescinded.

“That kind of resolved itself before the vote,” Martinez stated. “But definitely putting things in writing as well as codifying existing things that people like is going to be part of [negotiations].”

The Alberta Labour Relations Board is anticipated to problem a certificates 24 hours after the results of the vote has been communicated to the events concerned.

The first game builders’ union in North America was fashioned simply final 12 months at Vodeo Games, a small unbiased studio whose workers work remotely in each Canada and the United States.

A second union was fashioned this 12 months for the standard assurance division of Wisconsin-based Raven Software, which has labored on the Call of Duty franchise.

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