Sega of America is accused of attempting to lay off 40 percent of its unionized staff

Sega has been hit with an unfair labor practice (ULP) lawsuit accusing the company of using anti-union tactics to break up the Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA (AEGIS-CWA) union, which was formed with the help of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). was founded ) earlier this year.

According to a CWA spokesperson who reached out to Game Developer, Sega is seeking to cut 40 percent of its unionized workforce by 2024 by moving work to its offices in Europe and Japan.

The union currently includes 200 employees at Sega of America’s headquarters in Irvine, California. These employees belong to various teams including brand marketing, games as a service, localization, marketing services, product development, sales, quality assurance and more.

Sega is reportedly trying to break up the union, which was ratified after an NLRB election in July, by laying off a number of its members who currently work in quality assurance and localization.

“This information was presented to the affected employees during public discussions in the afternoon, followed by an email to the entire company. This is a clear case of bad faith negotiations as Sega conducted direct dealings with CWA members and violated the status quo by communicating negotiations.” “The work of the unit members would end shortly,” said CWA spokeswoman Catalina Brennan -Gatica. “On behalf of the workers, CWA has filed a ULP lawsuit against Sega.”

AEGIS-CWA member Elise Willacker, currently a senior QA tester at Sega of America, claimed the company broke the news at the bargaining table on November 6, 2023 without notice – preventing the union from reviewing the proposal or providing a response to formulate.

The offshoring proposal was reportedly announced company-wide “just hours” after that meeting.

“It is disheartening to see such action from Sega because it clearly demonstrates evil negotiations and a refusal to recognize the valuable contributions of a significant portion of our colleagues,” Willacker said.

“We filed an unfair labor practice lawsuit to denounce Sega’s direct treatment of members and a violation of the status quo by telling bargaining unit members that our jobs would soon end. Sega will not be allowed to allow this unlawful behavior to continue.” We call on the company to transfer all temporary employees to permanent positions and return to the negotiating table in good faith. There is no other just alternative.”

The game developer has reached out to Sega of America for comment.

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