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  • SEGA Accused of Threatening Unionised Workers With Layoffs in New Report

    Publisher is said to have side-stepped AEGIS-CWA union in restructuring plans.

    The Communications Workers of America has filed a charge with the Unfair Labor Practice office, accusing SEGA of side-stepping the AEGIS-CWA organisation in an attempt to lay off unionised workers.

    According to a report on Kotaku, on November 6 the house of Sonic "delivered a proposal to 'phase out' all temporary workers by February 2024 — many of which are in quality assurance and localization — to the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA)... The layoffs would impact 40 percent of the group, or roughly 80 unionized employees total."

    With the filing, Kotaku writes that the union organisation accuses SEGA of "forcing employees into a meeting where they were told their jobs would be offshored to Japan and Europe, rather than bargaining over the layoffs directly with the union." If upheld, this means that SEGA would be in violation of rules against companies negotiating with employees rather than the unions that represent them.

    The Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA) union was formed only a few months ago, with the group representing a broad range of talent within the company, across marketing, sales, product development and other departments. Naturally, the organisation is not impressed with this latest news.

    "We hoped that Sega management would bargain in good faith, but instead they've shown disregard to status quo and are threatening to outsource the jobs of a majority of the workforce in our QA and Localization departments, which is up to 40% of our unit," reads a statement on the organisation's Twitter account today. "QA and Loc workers are critical to Sega of America's success. We remain united in our commitment to protect our coworkers and friends." 

    Meanwhile Elise Willacker, a senior QA tester at SEGA, offered the following statement to Kotaku; "It’s disheartening to see such actions from Sega, as it unmistakably demonstrates bad faith bargaining and a refusal to recognize the valuable contributions of a significant portion of our colleagues. We have filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge to call out Sega’s direct dealing with members, and its breaching of the status quo by telling bargaining unit members that our jobs would be ending shortly."

    The complaint will head to the National Labor Relations Board for review, but there is fear that any investigations would not conclude in enough time to avoid any layoffs planned by SEGA. We'll keep you updated if there is any further news to come.

    Sonic News Tips Credit:
    sonicclaasic

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    You know, considering how Sega has had a history of toxic work conditions and poor working conditions for that matter, I'd say they have no real business being against unions or the workers in them.

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    Unfortunately, it looks like SEGA is doing what most corporations do, or what most people do when they believe themselves more powerful than their opponent: taking a "make me" stance, especially if they are violating negotiation rules directly. We'll have to see how this plays out. 

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    Anyway, I do hope this gets resolved peacefully. It is a shame that Sega is doing this, and it is a shame that, as @Ghelatlisholsaid, that many other corporations do this in general. No one should have to be laid off because they were unionizing.

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    Wow. McCarthyism and the Red Scare really did have an effect on trade unionism in the US that even today can be seen and felt. Shocking behaviour

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    26 minutes ago, castell-neath said:

    Wow. McCarthyism and the Red Scare really did have an effect on trade unionism in the US that even today can be seen and felt. Shocking behaviour

    I think it's simpler than that. Companies just don't like being told what they can and can't do by the people they paid to work for them and think it'll undermine their ability to run the company as unfettered as possible.

    Basically any concession they have to make to their employees is something that they can't use to line their own pockets.

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    I've been leaning more and more into sticking to indie games, fan games, and used retro games. (+Piracy of course, but my PC can't play many modern games) I just don't want to support the mainstream game industry anymore until... Well maybe until this whole capitalism thing finishes collapsing on itself. Picking up new releases in series I love used be so exciting but it just bums me out lately. Frontiers and Superstars were great but fuck Sega. I've seen plenty of fan games that are just as impressive if not moreso.

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    Well, not too new. Other companies like Amazon and Disney did the same thing. Let's hope this gets resolved.

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    54 minutes ago, boodlyboo said:

    I've been leaning more and more into sticking to indie games, fan games, and used retro games. (+Piracy of course, but my PC can't play many modern games) I just don't want to support the mainstream game industry anymore until... Well maybe until this whole capitalism thing finishes collapsing on itself. Picking up new releases in series I love used be so exciting but it just bums me out lately. Frontiers and Superstars were great but fuck Sega. I've seen plenty of fan games that are just as impressive if not moreso.

    Kinda depressing for a first post in the community...

    If I took that stance myself that would mean I need to stop buying SNK games because they're majority owned by the Saudi crown and I find most of what they do to be unpalatable and backhanded.

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    18 minutes ago, SolidSurgeTT said:

    Kinda depressing for a first post in the community...

    Oh don't take it that way. I'm spending less/no money to play games made with love and passion instead of dropping a small fortune on a product of corporate greed and market research done on minors.

    I've been having a ton of fun with stuff like Freedom Planet, Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit, Indivisible, etc etc. I've never had a shortage of fun and unique games to play. Since i started buying less AAA new games I've found I'm having a lot less samey experiences that blend together from following popular game design trends.

     

     

     

     

     

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    3 hours ago, TAILSGONETOOFAST said:

    can we just like sonic without liking sega?

    Anyone can like anything they want to (you don't even have to ask the internet for permission!). But I think people should be critical of the things they like and conscious of where their money is going. Remember that stealing from large corporations is always morally correct. 🌈 sonic told me so

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    6 hours ago, TAILSGONETOOFAST said:

    can we just like sonic without liking sega?

    Sure you can!  I always liked Sonic the Hedgehog more than SEGA any day and I definitely have a lot of complaints geared towards SEGA as a company.

    Even though this news is disappointing, I'm honestly not that surprised because SEGA has a long history of mistreating their employees and after seeing how the big name movie studios handled the situation with the Writers' Strike and the SAG strikes, it seems to be natural for big name corporations to take advantage of their employees on a day to day basis (not that I think that any of this is ever right).  As the saying goes, SEGA (or any company for that matter) is not your friend. However, I'm very concerned about what this is going to do to the Sonic games moving forward. I don't want the Sonic games to come to an end because of SEGA's actions and I hope that SEGA fix this issue and try to be better towards their employees in the near future.

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    14 hours ago, boodlyboo said:

    Anyone can like anything they want to (you don't even have to ask the internet for permission!). But I think people should be critical of the things they like and conscious of where their money is going. Remember that stealing from large corporations is always morally correct. 🌈 sonic told me so

    You say think critically but thats a very black and white view of the situation. Just because a large corporation is rich now doesn't mean you aren't hurting anyone by pirating their newest game. The big wigs at the top aren't the ones, doing upkeep on the building, actually making the games, comics, etc. its the very people being discussed here down to even the janitor that get hurt as well. If everyone actually followed your advice and no one bought SEGA, Nintendo, Capcom etc. products anymore at all, those people would be out of a job and Sonic would be dead. You don't want to support SEGA thats fine its your life but you or anyone else for that matter aren't morally right for pirating their newest games.

    Moving from my reply, I still support SEGA not because the jerks doing this but because of the people that make up the company like Sonic Team or Ian Flynn. I think people need to remember that a company is not a individual, its a group of people and so you need to narrow your focus to the people actually responsible. (Heck the union talked about here itself is a part of SEGA)

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