It’s the first and only union representing video game industry workers in the United Kingdom, it said. It’s an affiliate of the global Game Works Unite movement, a grassroots organization that advocates for unionization and workers’ rights within the industry. Some of its goals include ending the institutionalized practice of excessive/unpaid overtime, improving diversity, supporting abused or harassed workers, and securing a livable wage for all.
“We are so deeply proud of our UK comrades who have hit the ground running from day one,” said Game Workers Unite on Twitter.
“We are SO inspired by the amazing organizing of our comrades in the UK!” said GWU Bay Area, a local chapter based in California. “Their work will not just improve the lives of workers in the UK, it will have massive repercussions throughout the industry worldwide as workers realize that a better way is possible.”
Calls for unionization within the video games industry have gotten louder this year following a number of incidents. The most high-profile ones include Rockstar Games’ alleged “100-hour” work weeks and allegations of sexism and misconduct at Riot Games. Then, there’s the closure of Telltale Games, which suddenly left 250 people unemployed and without severance or health insurance. Many developers took to Twitter afterwards to air their grievances and express their hopes for change under the hashtag #AsAGamesWorker.