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Beat the 'crunch': new union for video games workers launches

Game Workers Unite UK will take aim at unpaid overtime, racism and sexism in sector

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theguardian.com
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mkis00738d ago

Ya and by extent now you get paid less than everyone else because of union fees.

THRASHMOUTH38d ago

That's not entirely true. Infact, when my job went union, we were bumped up in pay. It all depends on the conditions that are being negotiated when signing up for a union.

Godmars29038d ago (Edited 38d ago )

Versus getting paid for 40 hours after working 60 or more?

LucasRuinedChildhood38d ago

A lot of people unreported their hours because you have to note how long it took you to complete each individual task on, for example, JIRA. You don't want to say that it took you a long time to complete a task.

Godmars29038d ago

@LucasRuinedChildhood:
And? What good does that do anyone including the supervisor who wants something normally done in ten hours finished in under four? Who then expects a dozen similar projects also be done that day? Its that kind of detachment from reality, stockholder demanding exponential profits within a set time, that's created an only worsening all around situation.

TekoIie37d ago

@LucasRuinedChildhood

In an instance like that, I'd say that the employee is the sucker, unfortunately. A hard worker whos being taken advantage of by a go-getter manager.

TekoIie37d ago (Edited 37d ago )

That's not strictly true. There are a lot of factors that can go into it but to give an example the union for my first job at a supermarket was optional and had a £2.20 per month fee and they frequently negotiated better pay and provided legal support when needed. Hardley a drain on my pay when it saved my neck and many others on numerous occasions against a few members of upper management who thought they could overstep boundaries.

Smokehouse38d ago

Racism and sexism? How appalling. Who would join an industry that promotes such things in the first place? Why subject yourself to such medieval misery? Please administrative state, save us from ourselves with your arbitrary quotas.

LucasRuinedChildhood38d ago

Good stuff. Crunch time over a long period of time is completely unacceptable. When Bobby Kotick's yearly bonus alone is over $30 million, why shouldn't workers stand up for themselves and ensure that they are working reasonable hours? Their work is what makes these companies billions of dollars.

Unions are demonized in America by the right but anyone with common sense will understand that workers standing together is the most effective way to fight against crunch and advocate for better conditions. "That's communism, bro!!!"

Godmars29038d ago

Common sense is dead as signified by phantom disagrees.

bluefox75538d ago

Unacceptable by whom? Why not let workers decide what is acceptable to them on an individual basis, instead of trying to decide for everyone?

LucasRuinedChildhood37d ago (Edited 37d ago )

Let's examine what you just said. You're actually deliberating whether being unpaid for hundreds of hours of overtime is acceptable and you're doing so with a straight face. Why are you defending such a terrible practice? I think that we can reasonably assume that workers would like to be paid for their work.

Collective bargaining is a pretty basic concept. Given the fact that crunch is endemic in the games industry, its obvious that the individual has no effective power against a multi-billion dollar corporation like Activision or EA. The premise of your argument doesn't make sense. Individuals simply have to accept whatever these companies deem acceptable, not what they deem acceptable. If a programmer really wants to work at a studio where crunch is minimal or not present, he/she will have limited options. Workers can only get better conditions if they lobby for them. Corporations employ lobbyists because lobbying works. Workers would be dumb not to use an effective strategy.

Godmars29038d ago (Edited 38d ago )

Never understood the mentality of defending abusive and exploitative employment practices in gaming. More than often it doesn't result in better games, and really, consumers showing such blind loyalty has only lead to consumer abuse and exploitation.

LucasRuinedChildhood38d ago

Agreed. This should be seen as a good move for the games industry.

Spurg38d ago

Well done, this is a much needed move.
People are easily exploited out there and a union will be their logical voice of reason in this industry.
I have worked in the creative industry and crunch time is something inevitable. No matter how hard you work at the beginning, it is inevitable that you will work to the last second before submitting. It's good to know that people get payed for the overtime they do and only people who have been through this predicament will understand.

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