Sega Workers Ratify First Ever Union Contract in Video Game Industry

Originally published in Labor Today

On Tuesday March 27, 2024, workers at Sega ratified the first ever union contract within the video game developing industry. Under the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS), workers were able to secure minimum yearly pay increases through 2026 and layoff protection for 150 full time and temporary employees. Workers went public with their intent to unionize in April 2023 and officially formed a union with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) in July of the same year.

The negotiations took a total of six months between AEGIS-CWA and Sega, but that wasn’t without retaliation from the company. In January, the company announced they would be laying off 61 temporary employees which affected the overall morale of the union at the time. However, AEGIS was able to save 18 of those jobs and win severance packages for those that would be laid off.

“One of our most notable items is our grievance process. There’s extra security knowing we have in place a system for bringing issues to the table, such as arguing just cause in a potential layoff. If the company wants to do something that the unit doesn’t like, we can grieve it, bargain over it, have our say before anything is finalized.” Em Geiger, an employee of Sega of America in an interview with Polygon

While AEGIS-CWA is the first union to win a contract, many game developers and quality assurance (QA) workers across the industry have expressed their intent to unionize including workers at Zenimax, Activision, Blizzard, and Raven Software. AEGIS-CWA is a part of local 9510 in Orange, California.