Sega of America has been accused of violating union bargaining rules, following a mandatory layoff meeting with staff. According to a new complaint filed with the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), as detailed by Kotaku, Sega of America recently met directly with staff to inform them of a proposal to “phase out” temporary workers in QA and localisation departments by February 2024.
Per the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA) union, this was allegedly in violation of standard labor practice, as the company elected not to bargain with the union first, where it was required to. The union believes Sega of America’s proposal would impact around 40% of its membership, or around 80 unionised employees.
“It’s disheartening to see such actions from Sega, as it unmistakably demonstrates bad faith bargaining and a refusal to recognise the valuable contributions of a significant portion of our colleagues,” Elise Willacker, senior QA tester at Sega of America, told Kotaku.
Willacker revealed an Unfair Labor Practice allegation had been filed in an effort to protect workers from incoming layoffs, and to “call out” Sega’s direct meeting with employees.
Per details provided by Kotaku, the Unfair Labor Practice filing will now be reviewed by the NLRB – although given the need for due process, and case backlogs, it may not be investigated in time to prevent incoming layoffs at Sega of America.
“We call on the company to make all temporary employees permanent and return to the bargaining table in good faith,” Willacker said. “There is no other just alternative.”
Should the layoffs go ahead as allegedly planned, Sega will join a long list of companies that have already initiated layoffs in 2023, including Ubisoft, Media Molecule, Blizzard, Team17, EA, CD Projekt Red, Riot Games, Amazon, Ascendant Studios, Private Division, 2K, Volition, Firaxis, Telltale Games, Crystal Dynamics, Epic Games, Digital Extremes, and Humble Games.