Unionized workers at publications including Kotaku, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker, The Root, and Jalopnik are striking to secure fairer contacts. A number of staff at those G/O Media-owned outlets have unionized under the Gizmodo Media Group Union (GMG Union) banner, and are attempting to collectively bargain for contracts that guarantee healthcare, offer adequate family leave, codify diversity initiatives, provide work-from-home flexibility, prevent G/O from lowballing salaries, and protect staff from forced relocations to the NYC office. Since January 31, 2022, GMG Union members have met five times with G/O Media's outside council, but say the council has failed to proactively engage with their good-faith proposals.
Activision Blizzard and Raven Software QA workers are looking to define employees eligible for Game Workers Alliance, the union group formed in January with the assistance of Communication Workers of America (CWA). The National Labor Review Board hearing began Wednesday and continued into Thursday. Union representatives have raised concerns about whether Activision Blizzard’s various responses to employees’ unionization efforts constitute union-busting. The hearing was forced in late January after Activision Blizzard denied Game Workers Alliance’s request for voluntary recognition of the union. The purpose of the hearing is to define which employees can be included in the unit, as well as determine who can vote for or against the union.
On Friday, workers at video gaming company Activision Blizzard entered their fifth day of a work stoppage in response to layoffs at one of the company’s subsidiaries. The stoppage comes on the heels of revelations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Activision Blizzard and amid fierce resistance to staff unionization efforts. The work stoppage began on Monday when quality assurance (QA) workers at Raven Software, one of the main developers behind the hit Call of Duty video game series, began being laid off. Employees are demanding that these contractors be reinstated and given full-time contracts. The exact number of workers participating in the work stoppage is unclear, but hundreds of both remote and in-person employees across studios and states participated, with many walkouts occurring virtually.
By Darya Marchenkova for TESA Collective and Felicia Perez for Center for Story-based Strategy - Have you ever talked politics with someone you disagree with and tried to change their mind? If so, then you probably know that the facts rarely speak for themselves. It’s not enough to tell people facts and figures about the truth if we want to convey deeper values. To do that, we need stories, images, and metaphors. We need imagination. Games are sensational storytellers. They can take us to magical places and alter our perspectives. And what if that fun mental break we get from games wasn’t just about escaping real life but about imagining a better world? The TESA Collective has just launched Rise Up: The Game of People and Power, a cooperative board game where players build a fiercely powerful social movement step by step, while warding off attacks by aggressive opponents. It’s a fun and low-stakes way to practice political strategy, created for both new and experienced activists. The Center for Story-based Strategy made Resistance Bingo, a print-and-play game that responds to the “oh shit” feeling many people might be feeling by giving players practical actions they can take to resist fascism in real life, then tracking their progress on a bingo board.