In an effort to improve their working conditions, the employees of the Sega of America studio form a union movement. More than 144 employees of the American branch decided to go under the name Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS for short) at the relatively new branch in Irvine. The unions are formed in cooperation with the Communications Workers of America union.
Sega unions intend to bring together employees across various departments such as marketing, design, localization and quality control (QA). At the time of writing, virtually all employees of the American branch of the company are said to have joined them.
The aim of the trade union movement is to achieve better working conditions. The demands thus include, for example, higher salaries, better work benefits (healthcare, pension or the possibility of remote work), clearer options for career progression or an increase in the number of employees, so that there is no need for forced overtime and subsequent burnout or overwork. According to AEGIS, these values are meant to be in line with Sega’s core values.
If the listed conditions are met by the company, according to representatives of the trade union, this should strengthen the company and improve the quality of the games it produces. The movement states in a press release that almost a third of the company’s long-term contractors do not have a full-time contract and the benefits that flow from it, although they have been involved in Sega projects for years.
The Japanese corporation has not yet commented on the efforts of the employees of the American branch. It is not yet clear whether it will follow the example of Microsoft, which recognized the voluntarily created unions, or will follow the path of resistance that Activision Blizzard came up with.
Em Geiger, one of the editors from Sega’s localization department, revealed (thanks TechCrunch) that the efforts to create AEGIS started several years ago and is not a direct response to recent events at other companies. But the first swallows from elsewhere definitely helped the situation. The first example of an American union within the gaming industry was testers from Raven Software some time ago, soon followed by ZeniMax, where nearly 300 employees joined the union.