There’s Power-Up in a Union: Meet the UK’s First Game Workers Union

There’s Power-Up in a Union: Meet the UK’s First Game Workers Union

Game workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose except your Chain Chomps!

Earlier today, Game Workers Unite UK announced that it’s officially a legal trade union in the United Kingdom. Now a branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), Game Workers Unite UK states that membership is open to “current, former, and soon-to-be” video games workers and closed to “managers with direct hiring and firing power.”

Operating as one of the first game workers unions in the world, IWGB’s Game Workers Unite branch will tackle pressing issues like “unpaid overtime, zero-hours contracts, and lack of diversity.”

Game Workers Unite made a splash earlier this March when the organization had a ubiquitous presence at GDC 2018. Handing out union pamphlets that resembled old issues of Nintendo Power, Game Workers Unite quickly made a name for itself around the gaming sphere. Having amassed over 13,000 Twitter followers, the organization continues to promote unionization and workers rights across the globe.

The push for game worker unionization is largely propelled by the horror stories of industry-wide crunch and studio closings. Earlier this year, Rockstar Games made headlines when Dan Houser, the company’s co-founder, mentioned that Red Dead Redemption 2’s production wrought 100 hour work weeks. IWGB implicitly referenced this incident when announcing the new union branch, writing that the branch looks to combat, “the use of excessive, often unpaid overtime, commonly referred to as ‘crunch’, where some workers have been reported to work as much as 100 hours a week.”

Game Workers Unite UK will elect union officials at its first meeting this Sunday. You can read more from IWGB here.