Sega Of America staff have ratified a union contract, the first to do so at a major US studio | Gaming

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Sega Of America employees have become the first a major US video games studio to ratify a union contract. The contract covers guarantees minimum yearly pay increases for around 150 staff through 2026.

The staff work in marketing and other departments at Sega Of America’s office in Southern California, as reported by Bloomberg (paywalled). The contract means employees will receive a minimum salary increase of 4% in 2024, 3% in 2025 and 2.5% in 2026.

Sega Of America employees announced their intent to unionise last April, working alongside Communications Workers Of America. Catalina Brennan-Gatica, a representative for the CWA, call the contract ratification “a watershed moment for workers in the video game industry.”

The last several years have seen an increased push for unions across the industry, particularly in quality assurance and other support departments, including at companies such as Raven, BioWare Edmonton, Blizzard Albany and Zenimax. Perhaps not coincidentally, the desire for unionisation has grown alongside mass layoffs over the past 18 months.

Sega Of America announced that they would lay off 61 people in March, around 13% of their workforce. Last month, the Sega AEGIS union said they had worked to “double the number of saved jobs, and to offer severance to our temp workers.”

This new union contract requires Sega to offer a minimum of two weeks’ severance to laid off employees, up to a maximum of eight weeks. Bloomberg say it also includes provisions for health insurance and a pledge to credit everyone who worked on a video game, another longstanding issue in the industry…

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