Sega of America workers voted “yes” to officially form a union. The National Labor Relations Board counted the group’s mailed-in votes on Monday, with the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega, or AEGIS, winning the vote, Polygon reported.
According to Polygon, one hundred and seventeen votes were counted, 91 votes for the union and 26 votes against. (Several votes were challenged and not counted.) The unit will include more than 200 roles at Sega of America’s Irvine, California office, Communication Workers of America said in a news release.
The union spans several different departments: marketing, games as a service, localization, product development, and quality assurance. The Irvine office, which opened in 2022, houses up to 235 workers. With this win, AGEIS-CWA is the first video game industry union at a major company that spans multiple departments. Boston-based Activision Blizzard studio Proletariat attempted this earlier in 2023, but ultimately pulled its union petition. Next, NLRB will have to certify the union before moving into bargaining.
IGN reported (in April of 2023) that a supermajority of workers at Sega of America have announced that they have formed a union under the Communications Workers of America, and are asking for voluntary recognition from company management.
According to IGN, AEGIS stated the following goals in its mission statement:
* 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.
IGN also reported (in an article posted today) that a press release claims that the win makes the AEGIS-CWA the largest multi-department union of organized workers in the game industry.
AEGIS-CWA tweeted: “WE WON! We just won our union election 91-26. Our 200+ member union is now the LARGEST multi-department union of organized workers in the ENTIRE gaming industry. So excited to celebrate this win & head to the bargaining table w/@SEGA to continue building this company we love!”
Kotaku reported that the AGEIS-CWA group will now prepare to bargain on first contact with Sega on issues like pay, overtime, and promotion opportunities.
According to Kotaku, Sega President of America and COO Ian Curran finally acknowledged the union drive in an email to staff on Wednesday. Axios’ Stephen Totilo reported “Union matters are new to me,” he wrote, but said no employee would be treated any differently if they supported organizing. He did not say the company would voluntarily recognize the union, however, meaning a secret ballot with the NLRB will likely be forced instead.
Personally, I think that unionization makes every workplace better for employees. Being in a union means that the company must give the employees the majority of the things they have asked for after winning the vote for unionization. Failure to do so could potentially lead to litigation from the NLRB, or cause good workers to jump ship to other companies.