Sega of America workers have ratified their union contract

Employees overwhelmingly voted for the measure last year.

Unsplash / Jezael Melgoza

Workers at Sega of America, a division of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., have officially ratified their union contract, as reported by Bloomberg. This makes it one of the first major North American video-game companies to take this step, which could bode well for future organized labor pushes in the industry.

The contract was ratified after workers overwhelmingly voted to unionize last year. It covers around 150 people working in various departments throughout the company, including brand marketing, games as a service, localization, sales and quality assurance. The union is called the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA) and it organizes with the Communications Workers of America.

There are already some provisions in place for workers as part of the contract, including a minimum pay increase of 4 percent in 2024, 3 percent in 2025 and 2.5 percent in 2026. There are also layoff protections, codified benefits like health insurance, a severance inclusion and a commitment to credit all workers on games.

“We’re hopeful that in the midst of extensive layoffs, workers across the video game industry will see organizing as a pathway to improve working conditions for all of us,” wrote Jasmin Hernandez, a member of AEGIS-CWA, in a statement provided to Engadget.

Sega wasn’t exactly happy about the push toward labor rights and unionization. The company faced an unfair labor practice complaint after it announced plans to lay off 40 percent of the union's bargaining unit. The company did lay off some of these people, as promised, but the union was able to reach an agreement to keep many workers employed.

Labor is having a moment in the games industry. ZeniMax Workers United joined with the CWA last year to offer union protection to 300 quality assurance workers. Over 600 Activision QA testers have joined a union, making it the biggest worker-formed organization in video games. Avalanche Studios, Raven Software and several small development studios have all also unionized in the past year or so.