The union is UK’s first and they expect to tackle overtime and sexism in the games industry.
First time in the UK video games workers established a Union to seek rights.
According to the Games Workers’ Union, which launched on Friday; work overload and excess overtime, inhumane contracts and discrimination in the industry are getting more serious day by day. Which needs to be addressed and is the main reason for establishing the Games Workers’ Union.
Now with the Games Workers’ Union it is hoping to use collective organized efforts to fix a “broken sector and create an ethical industry”, according to founding member Dec Peach.
“For as long as I can remember it has been considered normal for games workers to endure zero-hours contracts, excessive unpaid overtime, and even sexism and homophobia as the necessary price to pay for the privilege of working in the industry,” he said.
On the occasion of first meeting of the union on Sunday, the biggest concern for Mr Peach and his follow members is likely to be “crush” the practice of excessive unpaid overtime that’s common in the industry.
A survey conducted in 2016 by International Games Developer’s Association (IGDA), 51% of game developers complained about “crunch time” and other 44% reported working long and extra unpaid hours.
Karn Bianco, a general programmer and GWU UK representative, told sky news that he worked 80 hours a week when he entered the industry.
“It was voluntary then, because I was so excited to be working in this industry,” he said, estimating his average working week at around 80 hours. “But it didn’t take long for it to affect me, and I started making an effort to work less.”
Burnout is common in the video games industry. Mr Bianco said its normal people spend 5 years or so in the industry and then move to the other areas where conditions and pay are better.
Some games workers have much in common with these precariously employed groups.
According to IGDA, 27% of game developers have worked for almost 3 to 5 employers in last five years or so. This figure shows serious volatility in the industry.
People are welcomed in the union if they are involved in any sort of game production. Both freelance artists, producers, programmers and testers will be part of the union.