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Sega Workers Secure Union Contract, Despite Layoffs

A big win for Sega workers even after the company demonstrated "a hostile stance toward worker organizing"


When last we heard from the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS), things were looking a little contentious. The union, then comprised of around 200 temporary and full-time Sega employees across multiple departments, was bargaining with Sega in November, only for the company to announce layoffs that would impact 40 percent of the bargaining unit. But workers stayed the course, securing better severance for laid off workers, full-time jobs for some of them, and crucially, a fully ratified union contract.

Yesterday afternoon, the 150 workers remaining in the union voted to ratify the contract. A representative of the union told Aftermath that this proves “a collectively-bargained contract with substantial improvements and protections is possible even when management takes a hostile stance toward worker organizing.” Sega workers’ touch-and-go uphill battle stands in contrast to, for example, Microsoft, which has taken a neutral stance on unions, recently allowing an unprecedented 600 Activision Blizzard employees to unionize. 

Sega workers’ contract includes just cause protections, layoff protections, commitment to crediting everybody who has worked on a video game, commitment to a hybrid work model for at least the next six months, consistent raises for every worker in the unit, advance notice of labor-related policy changes and any use of AI that could impact employees, and codification of an annual bonus plan, retirement benefits, health insurance, parental benefits, and bereavement leaves. 

“This anticipated victory demonstrates the power of organizing with coworkers and shows that improving working conditions in the video game industry is possible,” the representative said.

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