Sega Company Logo E3 Relic Union

Sega of America workers in Irvine file for a union election [Update]

Another studio sees organization efforts pick up

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[Update: A spokesperson for Sega of America reached out today, April 26, with a letter sent out to employees this morning from Sega of America president and COO Ian Curran:

We received word yesterday that a petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by various SOA employees seeking union representation. Union matters are new to me and SOA and we are investigating and considering the options available to the company. As I understand it, the petition filing means that the NLRB will conduct a secret ballot election several weeks down the road for employees who are in specific job classifications to be determined by the NLRB. These employees will be voting for or against union representation.

Some of you may support unionization and some not. That is your legal right. No SOA employee will be treated any differently whether they support or do not support unionization. We have a wonderful culture at SOA with a strong commitment to working together as a team. In my mind, it is the SOA employee culture that makes us such a successful company.

We will be updating you regularly so that you’re fully informed, understand what you can expect and what the NLRB process is about. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Human Resources. We want all of your questions answered.

Our original story follows.]

Workers at the Irvine, California offices for Sega of America are organizing. A new union, dubbed Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS), has filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board.

AEGIS is partnering with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the same organization that’s worked with efforts at studios like Blizzard Albany and ZeniMax.

The union consists of 144 employees across Sega of America’s QA, localization, live service, marketing, and product development departments. This is notable, as union efforts have often been led by QA departments.

AEGIS workers point out shared issues across departments. The union’s statement says that “nearly a third” of Sega’s long-time workers still lack full-time status, paid time off, proper training, or bereavement leave.

The union is calling for higher base pay following industry standards, with raises tied to the cost of living and inflation; improved, stable benefits; increased and clear opportunities for advancement; balanced workloads, schedules, and defined responsibilities for all positions; and adequate staffing, to end “patterns” of overwork.

Two workers speaking to The Verge say they have not experienced any anti-union sentiments from management. They’re hopeful that Sega of America and its parent company in Japan will voluntarily recognize the union.

We’ve reached out to Sega of America for comment.

Ongoing organization efforts

This marks another push for unionization within the industry, as several studios over the past few years have worked to organize. Several under Activision Blizzard have done so already, though it wasn’t always an easy road. The CWA and Activision Blizzard have clashed over unionization a few times already.

Microsoft has even signed a neutrality agreement with the CWA, saying it will take a neutral approach to any employee unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard studios, should the deal go through.

As mentioned before, what makes AEGIS and the Sega situation so interesting is that it’s made up of multiple departments, similar to Proletariat, which withdrew its union bid earlier this year.


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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.