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Sega Faces Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Amid Unionization Dispute

By Xueyang
Nov. 21, 2023 updated 02:27

Sega Faces Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Amid Unionization DisputeSega Faces Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Amid Unionization Dispute

Sega of America, the publisher renowned for popular gaming franchises like Persona and Yakuza, is currently embroiled in a labor dispute with its employees. The Communications Workers of America has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Sega, alleging the company is threatening layoffs in response to efforts by its employees to unionize.

According to reports, Sega proposed the "phasing out" of all temporary workers, including those in key roles such as quality assurance and localization, by February 2024. This move would affect approximately 40% of the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA) union, representing over 200 employees across various departments. The proposal, delivered to AEGIS-CWA, which formed earlier this year, indicates that around 80 unionized employees could be laid off.

However, Sega allegedly bypassed the union during this process, opting to communicate directly with employees in a mandatory meeting. This approach may violate labor regulations that prohibit companies from negotiating with unionized employees outside of their union.

Elise Willacker, a senior QA tester at Sega, expressed disappointment in the company's actions, accusing it of bad-faith bargaining and not recognizing the contributions of many colleagues. The union has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge to highlight Sega's direct dealings and breach of the status quo.

The National Labor Relations Board will review the complaint, but a resolution might not be timely enough to halt the proposed layoffs. As one of the largest unions in the video game industry, AEGIS-CWA's struggle comes amid broader cost-cutting and layoffs within major gaming publishers and studios.

The union has called on Sega to regularize all temporary employees and resume bargaining in good faith, stressing that there is no justifiable alternative to these actions. Sega has yet to respond to the allegations.

Source: Kotaku