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  • AEGIS-CWA Wins Election, SEGA of America Has Officially Unionized

    To unionize takes AEGIS

    The results of an election that would determine whether or not SEGA of America workers will unionize are in, and it’s official: they are now unionized. This makes SoA’s union, AEGIS-CWA, the largest multi-department union in the game industry. The results weren’t especially close, at 91 for, 26 against. AEGIS must now go to the bargaining table with SEGA management to hammer out a union contract.

    You can read all about what led to the union forming here. This election comes months after AEGIS announced its formation and requested voluntary recognition from SEGA management. When SEGA refused to grant it, an election date for the union was chosen near the end of May. A few weeks later AEGIS accused SEGA management of interfering with their right to organize ahead of the election. AEGIS said SEGA management “initiated an anti-union campaign.”

    AEGIS logo

    So, where do things go from here? Well, I’m no expert on unions, but I’ve followed unions enough that I think I can give you a broad idea. For one, SEGA and AEGIS representatives will need to meet to work out the details of a union contract. This contract will cover a certain number of years, and guarantee SEGA employees certain benefits. This tweet likely gives us an idea of what AEGIS will be trying to get.

    Once union leaders have a tentative contract with SEGA management, they will take it to their union members for a vote. If a plurality of members vote for the contract, it becomes official. If SEGA and AEGIS are unable to agree on a contract that can win a vote from members, a strike becomes a possibility. A union may authorize a strike ahead of or during negotiations. If a contract can’t be agreed upon, AEGIS members will be able to strike, which will allow them to refuse to work until a contract is signed. We are a long way from a strike, however. AEGIS hasn’t given us any sort of time table for when a contract will be agreed to, but we’ll know more in the coming weeks and months.

    via Twitter

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    This is fantastic news, and hopefully SEGA America's corporate leadership won't put up any roadblocks on this. They seemed pretty "positive" (that is to say, rather indifferent) about it a few months ago, so let's see if they'll put their money where their collective mouth is.

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    As long as the union stays focused on worker benefits and treatment then this is nothing but good news.

    Unions becoming persnickety about things like job duties and turning into us-vs.-them with non-union workers are when I get leery (I have to deal with that at my job where it's very easy for me as a non-represented individual to step on the toes of a union-mandated duty and I'm constantly being cautioned about triggering a union grievance from my superiors). That's when it starts sowing bad seeds (like keeping people in roles despite demonstrable issues with their work output).

    Luckily with white-collar unions I think that'll be less of an issue because those sorts of jobs come with higher bar of entry as far as credentials go so the people who even get to be considered for such positions are already demonstrating some modicum of value to the organization as much as being simply employed (in other words they're not totally expendable/interchangeable so their jobs are secure for more reasons than simply being tied to the union).

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